'I thought I deserved to play and he didn’t' - Joao Cancelo reveals details of Pep Guardiola discussion before Man City exit

Joao Cancelo Pep Guardiola Man City 2022-23Getty Images

WHAT HAPPENED? The Portugal international featured in one of the more surprising deadline day moves, going from one of City's key players to suddenly being shown the exit door. It had been reported that both Cancelo and Guardiola had disagreed over an alleged lack of game time after the World Cup - which saw youngster Rico Lewis in particular get an increase in minutes - and the 28-year-old all but confirmed that discussion to Portuguese outlet O Jogo.

WHAT THEY SAID: “As I already said, he found a way to play, after the World Cup, in which he started playing with a full-back more inside, where I also played, and he liked what he saw with Rico [Lewis] and Nathan [Ake],” Cancelo said. “But I think a player is always a bit selfish. Any player wants to feel important, wants to play and anyone who says otherwise is lying. A competitive player, like me, who aspires to win titles, just wants to play. It’s not a question of devaluing my teammates. But I thought I deserved to play and he didn’t.

“So we talked, it was a conversation, not a discussion, and we decided that the best thing would be for me to leave this market. An opportunity I couldn’t refuse. It was by mutual agreement. If City didn’t want to, they wouldn’t let me leave, because I had a contract. I’m very professional, I’ve always given my face for all the clubs. I have a difficult personality, yes, but I have never, at any time, disrespected team-mates or coaches.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Cancelo has gone on to make five appearances for his new club since joining, with all but one of them coming as a starter. He has already made an instant impact with two assists to his name so far, which is why Bayern are reportedly interested in making the move permanent in the summer - although they may face stiff competition from a host of Europe's elite.


Guardiola CanceloGettyJoao Cancelo 2022-23GettyJoao Cancelo Bayern Mainz 2023Getty

WHAT NEXT FOR CANCELO? The Portuguese full-back will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Borussia Monchengladbach at the weekend. The 3-2 result means Bayern's lead at the Bundesliga summit has slipped to a mere goal difference advantage above Borussia Dortmund and Union Berlin, the latter of whom Bayern face on Sunday.

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