Manchester City star Joao Cancelo to leave for Bayern Munich, in shock loan deal

Joao Cancelo of Manchester City celebrates after scoring their 1st goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton FC at Etihad Stadium on October 8, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo is leaving the club midseason to go on loan to Bayern Munich.

That's the shock revelation at the end of the transfer window for City fans, as Cancelo looks for more game-time and Pep Guardiola lets one of his key stars of last season's title win head to the Bundesliga.

Cancelo has been a bit-part player of late, with teenage sensation Rico Lewis preferred to the Portuguese – but the move is still a surprise one, as the Eastlands outfit chase a treble. 

Joao Cancelo is heading on loan to Bayern Munich from Manchester City… but why?

Rico Lewis of Manchester City celebrates scoring the 1st goal during the UEFA Champions League group G match between Manchester City and Sevilla FC at Etihad Stadium on November 2, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Rico Lewis has been excellent for Manchester City recently  (Image credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Joao Cancelo's season started with him taking Raheem Sterling's vacant No.7 shirt and has been curtailed with a bizarre left-field move to the Bundesliga.

That's according to the Athletic (opens in new tab), who say the dependable full-back "is likely to include a buy option". Cancelo was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year the last two years running for Manchester City.

With his manager Guardiola publicly agitated (opens in new tab) with his players recently, it could well be that he feels as if Cancelo has lost some of the "fire" that he complained of his side lacking in their 4-2 comeback against Tottenham. The 28-year-old had a disappointing World Cup, too, losing his place in Portugal's starting line-up during the knockout stage.

Joao Cancelo

Joao Cancelo endured a tough World Cup (Image credit: Getty)

In recent times, however, Guardiola has favoured a left-footer on the left of his back four. Cancelo has slotted into that position regularly in the last two years, with Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden featuring ahead of him to provide that natural width. With City attempting to land Marc Cucurella in the summer before he went to Chelsea, it seemed as if Guardiola was looking for ways to get Jack Grealish into the team. 

Recently too, Nathan Ake has been tasked with being played out wide – and the Dutchman was named Man of the Match (opens in new tab) after an excellent performance against Arsenal on Friday night, in which he marshalled Bukayo Saka and scored the winner. 

Cancelo, meanwhile, has been criticised this season for his poor defending (opens in new tab). With no cup-tie rules around the Champions League, the loan move will ensure that City's No.7 could feature against them, should Bayern Munich draw Cancelo's parent club. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.