Ousmane Dembele’s Paris Saint-Germain move allowed Barcelona to sign Joao Cancelo – report

With just a few hours to go until the summer transfer window closed, Barcelona wrapped up a deal for Joao Cancelo, who joins the Catalan club on a season-long loan from European champions Manchester City.

Cancelo was the first-choice option of head coach Xavi Hernandez, and after weeks of discussions, the operation was finally closed, much to the relief of Barcelona.

However, it had looked impossible for Barcelona to get their hands on Cancelo earlier this summer, as their finances did not allow a deal to be done. As The Athletic have reported, it was only possible after Ousmane Dembele left to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona did not have enough space in their wage bill to sign Cancelo, and Sporting Director Deco was working on signing Ivan Fresneda instead. However, when news of PSG activating Dembele’s release clause surfaced, they quickly shifted their focus to Cancelo.

Fresneda had been Deco’s preferred right-back target, but there was more support from within Barcelona for Cancelo, which meant that he became top priority as soon as a deal became possible.

There is no buy clause included in Cancelo’s loan deal, but Barcelona won’t care much at this stage. They have a top-class right-back in their squad for the next nine months, and there will surely be an opportunity to make the deal permanent next summer anyway.

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