City manager Pep Guardiola has said he initially struggled in his relationship
with Joao Cancelo before eventually coming to better terms with the Portuguese
27-year-old is one of the world’s best fullbacks and was bought for a hefty fee
from La Liga side Valencia in 2019. However, there was friction between him and
the Spaniard in his initial days in England.
Wednesday, Cancelo signed a contract extension that will keep him at The Etihad
knows how important he is and what he’s done,” The Guardian quoted Guardiola as
saying. “We have struggled when he arrived – we did not agree on many things,
partly because of my mistakes but now I am delighted. He’s fully happy and can
play here for the next (few) seasons. João can play in many positions, can play
every day due to his physicality, and he’s so funny and loved in the locker
to questions regarding what caused the friction, Guardiola said it was mostly
down to his playing time in the squad.
“He wanted to play every time and when
he didn’t wasn’t happy – he struggled with how we played, what we wanted to do,
and that was the reason why but he was always a nice guy. Now he understands (and) we know each other better. But to be really clear, no arguments. João is
fully happy, he wants to play every game and that’s all.”
further said Cancelo is “an incredible person with a big heart but sensitive”,
adding there are no more issues between the two.
extension comes after the Citizens secured new deals for Kevin de Bruyne, John
Stones, Ruben Dias, Cole Palmer and James McAtee, which Guardiola said was “so
players know the club and we are a young team, we cannot forget that. We know
them mentally – all of them love to play,” he said.