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Joan Laporta confirms Joao Cancelo, Joao Felix talks will begin "shortly"

Laporta confirms Cancelo, Felix talks will begin
© Reuters
Barcelona president Joan Laporta says that his club will soon begin negotiations over permanent deals for Manchester City's Joao Cancelo and Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed that his club will soon begin negotiations with Manchester City and Atletico Madrid over permanent deals for Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix.

Both players moved to Camp Nou on loan in the final stages of the summer transfer window, and the Portuguese duo have been important players for the Catalan giants this season.

Cancelo has three goals and two assists in 17 appearances for Barcelona in 2023-24, while Felix has contributed five goals and three assists in 17 outings since his arrival.

Felix netted the winner against his parent club Atletico in La Liga last weekend, and his passionate celebration suggested that he is not expecting to return to Wanda Metropolitano.

Permanent deals for the duo will be difficult for Barcelona due to their well-documented financial problems, but Laporta has insisted that the club can afford to sign them.

Barcelona defender Joao Cancelo on September 23, 2023© Reuters

"Cancelo and Felix have been playing on a high level since they joined. The club will be able to keep them for the coming seasons," Laporta told reporters.

"We plan to start negotiations for them shortly, and we have good relations with both Man City and Atleti."

Meanwhile, speaking during his press conference on Saturday, Barcelona head coach Xavi said that he was keen for the duo to join on a permanent basis next summer.

"What the president said is important, but it is clear that we are both satisfied with Cancelo and Joao Felix. They both make a difference, and I would like to keep them for more than one season," he told reporters while addressing the media ahead of the La Liga clash with Girona.

Barcelona's Joao Felix celebrates scoring their second goal on November 28, 2023© Reuters

"I want both Joaos to continue, I am happy with them. But there are negotiations that do not concern me. This is related to Deco and the boss, although it is early. As a coach, I would be happy to keep them.

"I've already said that I would like to keep counting on Joao Felix for next season, of course. And the club as well. As for the negotiation, it's not my concern. But as a coach, of course, I would like to have him."

Both Man City and Atletico are in strong positions when it comes to the negotiations, as Cancelo is contracted to the former until June 2027, while Felix has a deal with the latter until June 2029.

Neither are expected to brought back into their parent club's first teams, though, as Cancelo's relationship with Man City head coach Pep Guardiola is said to have broken down, while Felix's relationship with Atletico boss Diego Simeone is also said to have become strained towards the end of last year.

Cancelo spent the second half of last season on loan at Bayern Munich, while Felix joined Chelsea on loan in January, featuring on 20 occasions for the Blues, scoring four times.

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