The Cityzens, who started their Premier League title defense last Friday night with a 3-0 victory over newly promoted Burnley, are back in action this evening (Wednesday) when the Champions League holders take on Europa League champions Sevilla in Athens.
Guardiola has chosen to leave Cancelo at home despite having the opportunity to designate a 23-man traveling squad, a move that is certain to fuel speculation about the full-back’s future with just over a week left in the summer transfer season.
The Portugal international is not injured, according to our friends at the Manchester Evening News, and after failing to make the matchday squad at Turf Moor as well, it may be a clear indication that the Spanish coach no longer has him in mind. This would represent something of a U-turn given comments made earlier in the summer.
He is present. After Cancelo, 29, returned to the first squad during the preseason after spending six months on loan with Bayern Munich, Guardiola praised him for his earlier contributions to the team. He has returned and is now a member of the group. We’ll have to wait and see.
Of course, despite seemingly leaving the door ajar for the defender, the Man City boss didn’t exactly rule out the prospect of a departure either. And after overseeing a treble success last season without the use of traditional full-backs coupled with the signing of Josko Gvardiol this summer, it seems like the writing is on the wall for Cancelo with regard to his time at the Etihad Stadium.
But does Arsenal benefit from this? That remains to be seen, though, as Mikel Arteta did appear to shut the door on any further newcomers at the Emirates Stadium after spending more than £200 million to sign Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, and Jurrien Timber in addition to bringing in David Raya on a season-long loan.
The Spaniard remarked in a press conference before the Gunners’ Premier League opener against Nottingham Forest, “At the moment we’re not planning to change anything.” The window, however, is quite unpredictable. Things can happen, probably things we don’t want to happen, so for the time being we are content with what we have.
It’s crucial to remember that these remarks were made before it was established that Timber’s injury had caused the worst worries to come true: The club’s website reports that “Further to thorough evaluations with consulting experts since Saturday, we can certify that Jurrien Timber has sustained an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.”
“Jurrien will undergo surgery in the coming days and will be out of action for a period of time. The support and expertise from our medical team and everyone at the club will now be focussed on Jurrien’s rehabilitation program, to ensure he recovers well and is back playing as soon as possible.”
If this injury does force Arteta and technical director Edu Gaspar back into the transfer market in search of a full-back who is comfortable operating on either flank, Cancelo certainly ticks those boxes and it would appear that his future at Man City is looking even bleaker with this Super Cup squad snub.