Barcelona has completed loan deals for two notable players: Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix and Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo, both set to stay with the club until the end of the current season, as confirmed by the Spanish champions on Friday.
The official statement from Barcelona reads, “Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement for the loan of player Joao Felix until June 30, 2024. There is no option to buy.” Following this announcement, they unveiled Joao Cancelo’s arrival.
To accommodate the new additions within their wage structure and comply with La Liga’s stringent financial fair play regulations, Barcelona earlier on Friday loaned winger Ansu Fati to Brighton and defender Clement Lenglet to Aston Villa.
Joao Felix, a Portuguese forward aged 23, initially became one of the most expensive players in football history when Atletico Madrid acquired him from Benfica in 2019 for €126 million ($136 million) at the tender age of 19. However, his performance in the Spanish capital was inconsistent, leading to a loan spell with Chelsea last season, where he also faced challenges. Felix had previously expressed his desire to play for Barcelona.
Barcelona expressed appreciation for Felix’s willingness to join the club and his financial efforts to make the transfer possible. At the same time, Atletico Madrid revealed that Felix had extended his contract with them for two more years, now running until 2029.
Barcelona also confirmed the loan signing of Joao Cancelo from Manchester City, again without an option to purchase. The club required a specialist right-back, as they mainly relied on central defender Jules Kounde in that position during the previous season. Cancelo, a 29-year-old Portuguese international, fell out of favour at Manchester City and spent the latter half of the previous season on loan at Bayern Munich. He had previously played a vital role in two Premier League title wins for City under coach Pep Guardiola.
Barcelona has been quite active in the transfer market, securing the services of players like Ilkay Gundogan, Oriol Romeu, and Inigo Martinez, while also parting ways with Ousmane Dembele, Franck Kessie, and others.
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