Joao Cancelo says he joined Bayern Munich on loan due to a lack of playing time at Manchester City.
The Bundesliga side confirmed on transfer deadline day that they had signed the 28-year-old “on an initial deal through to the end of the current season,” with the switch including a buy option of €70million (£61.6m, $76.3m).
Cancelo had recently fallen out of favour under Pep Guardiola, starting only two of City’s last nine games in all competitions as academy graduate Rico Lewis, as well as Nathan Ake, John Stones and Kyle Walker, were preferred in the full-back slots.
The Athletic also reported that Cancelo’s relationship with Guardiola had deteriorated this season.
Speaking at a news conference, Cancelo said: “I’ve not had much game time in the past few weeks, which influenced my decision. There was speculation that my relationship with Pep was not the best but fact is I wanted to play more.
“I really wanted to embark on this new adventure at such a club with such a big history. It’s a dream for me. I’m very happy to be here and to show my footballing qualities.
“I know that this club, this team, lives for titles and wins titles every year. I’m also driven by the hunger for success.”
On whether he hoped the temporary move would turn into a permanent one, Cancelo — whose City deal runs until 2027 — added: “We have to see what these five months will bring, I want to be here with a clear head. We will then talk about it again at the end of the season.”
Cancelo, who scored five goals and set up 11 more in 98 Premier League games for City, was frequently used a creative full-back who often moved into midfield, and Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic declared him an “optimal fit”.
“Joao is a player we’ve been thinking about for a while now because we very much appreciate his qualities,” Salihamidzic said.
“He’s the optimal fit in our system with his attacking style of play and dynamism, and his mentality and experience fit very well in our team.”
Cancelo joins a Bayern team that have faltered in the Bundesliga in recent weeks. Julian Nagelsmann’s side still lead the league but there are only three points between themselves and fifth-placed Freiburg.
(Photo: Getty Images)
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