Pundit Backs Newcastle To Challenge Arsenal In £61M Transfer Battle For “Top Drawer” Defender

Pundit Backs Newcastle To Challenge Arsenal In £61M Transfer Battle For “Top Drawer” Defender

TalkSPORT pundit Darren Bent believes Newcastle should consider making an offer for Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with the Portuguese international but Bent says that, if the Magpies don’t sign Kieran Tierney, they might want to pursue Cancelo instead:

“One that’s quite surprising right and I know Dan Burn hasn’t done badly at left-back, but by trade he is a centre-half. Joao Cancelo. Obviously left-back, it looks like Manchester City are going to let him go.”

“I think Arsenal are in talks with him apparently, because [Kieran] Tierney could be going to Newcastle – that’s another one – but I think Joao Cancelo is top-drawer. [Was] the best full-back in the country but fell out with Pep [Guardiola] so he is another one.”

It is an interesting recommendation that Bent makes. Cancelo is expected to return from his loan spell at Bayern Munich this summer. While the Bundesliga champions do have an option to buy the fullback for €70m (£61m), they are not believed to be prepared to pay that much.

City will, therefore, be looking for a buyer. After being burned by selling both Jesus and Zinchenko to Arsenal last year, the Manchester club may well be more willing to sell to Eddie Howe’s side than the Gunners.

Cancelo’s asking price is pretty steep, though, and Newcastle may need to pay close to their club record to get him.

Why is Cancelo a realistic target for Newcastle?

The 28-year-old fell out with City boss Pep Guardiola earlier this season after being frustrated about the lack of game time he was getting.

With Bayern unwilling to pay the requisite fee to keep him, he will return to the Etihad in the coming weeks. With there being no prospect of being reintegrated into City’s first team, his club will be open to offers.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.