Felix & Cancelo: Barça have agreement with both Joaos but need LaLiga sign off

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The Catalan club hope to complete two signings on deadline day

FC Barcelona go into the final day of the summer transfer window with much of their homework done. The Blaugrana have reached agreements with Atletico forward Joao Felix and Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo and now are trying in the final few hours to close negotiations with their clubs to complete deals that will be financially approved by La Liga.

Joao Felix has publicly stated his desire to fulfill his dream of playing for Barça. His situation at Atletico Madrid is untenable, as he is unhappy with coach Diego Pablo Simeone, as well as the bulk of the dressing room.

Joao Felix for Ansu?

The Portuguese striker could be a quality reinforcement (with all the unknowns that his recent past at Atletico and Chelsea entails) for Xavi Hernandez's forward line, taking into account that the departures of Ansu Fati and Abde could be finalised on Friday. 

Joao Felix would arrive on loan and the difficulties lie in the economic formula, as Atletico want Barca to pay for a large part of the operation, while Barça's executives are trying to reduce these amounts as much as possible. Felix would have to accept that he is coming to a team that is perfectly suited to his characteristics as a player, but that he will have to fight as one more for a place in the starting XI. 

Joao Cancelo y Joao Felix celebran un gol con Portugal| EFE

Joao Cancelo, necessary

In the case of Cancelo, the right-back is a piece that Xavi Hernández considers more than necessary. The team has needed a specialist in this position for years after options such as Nelson Semedo, Sergiño Dest or Hector Bellerín failed to produce results. The eternal recourse to the captain Sergi Roberto or the central defenders Araujo and Koundé are still patches and Xavi wants to have a player who dominates the position.

Cancelo is an ideal option from a sporting point of view. Like his compatriot, he wants to play for Barça and in fact he would be willing to take a reduction in his salary, which could be as much as 20%, in order to adjust to the financial constraints of the Catalan club.

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Laporta's guarantee

Another issue is the formula for his arrival. City should accept a one-year loan, without a buy-out clause but with an explicit agreement to negotiate a definitive transfer from 2024 onwards. 

Finally, both operations, combined with the departures that could be completed this evening, would have to comply with LaLiga's requirements in terms of financial fair play and wage bill.

Barça's directors are working on these issues and, among other steps, this Friday they will present to La Liga the guarantee that will allow them to cover their financial needs while waiting for Libero to make the payments for their stake in Barça Studios. Joan Laporta and his board have wanted to commit themselves to the maximum at a decisive moment to close the best possible squad for the 2023/24 campaign.

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