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Pep factor key in decision to join Man City, says Cancelo

4:51 PM WAT 08/08/2019
JoaoCancelo - cropped
The Portugal full-back cannot wait to start working with the illustrious manager, and is keen to compete with the current occupant of his position

Joao Cancelo cited Pep Guardiola as a key factor in his decision to join Manchester City, where he is ready to battle with Kyle Walker for the right-back slot.

Portugal international Cancelo completed his €28 million (£25.8/$31.4m) switch to the Premier League champions on Wednesday, with Danilo moving in the other direction to Juventus as part of the deal.

Guardiola has made his use of full-backs an integral part of his tactics at the Etihad Stadium and Cancelo is relishing getting to work with the fourth club he will represent in as many seasons.

"Obviously, Pep Guardiola was a big reason for me to join Manchester City. I've always admired him and the way his teams play since he started at Barcelona," he told a news conference.

"It's not by chance that Manchester City have won the last two Premier Leagues and all the domestic trophies in England last season.

"I love his style of play, his character – he's very detail-orientated. That's why I'm here today."

Including the valuation of Danilo, City's deal for Cancelo tallied up to around €60million, although such a hefty price tag does not weigh heavily for the 25-year-old.

Nor does the prospect of challenging for a starting spot against Walker, the England international who signed a new five-year contract in June and starred in Sunday's Community Shield triumph over Liverpool with a magnificent goal-line clearance.

"It's a high price for a right-back but the responsibility is good for me as it will push me to be a better player and to mature to be a better player than I was when I joined," he said.

"I'm aware how Kyle is one of the best full-backs. But I always love challenges, bringing myself to the limit.

"I'm going to compete with him and I'll try to get my place. It will be up to the manager to choose one or the other, but I promise I will try to work hard and compete as best as I can.

"As a player I like new challenges; I was aware of the competition I would find here. Walker is a great player but the more competition you have the better you become as a player. 

"I have a dream to be the best in my position and the only way to do that is by challenging yourself. Only by playing with the best can you do that."

Someone Cancelo places in that bracket is Bernardo Silva, his international team-mate and former Benfica academy colleague with whom he is now reunited in Manchester.

"I've talked with Bernardo Siva several times before and he's said this is an amazing place to be," Cancelo added.

“Bernardo is a great player. We have a great relationship. For me, he is one of the best players in the world. It's a pleasure to play with him.

"The style of play of Manchester City is very good. I feel it is an ideal place for me to develop."