Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich was perhaps the most surprising deal of the entire January transfer window.

An unexpected move by all the parties involved: the Portuguese right back, FC Bayern and above all Manchester City who have decided to approve a loan deal unthinkable until a few days before.

Fabrizio Romano articles

But what happened? Why does Joao Cancelo leave Man City with this formula 48 hours before the end of the January transfer window?

Behind this decision is Cancelo's intolerance who can't stand when the situation becomes complicated in terms of rotations.

After returning from the World Cup, Joao played very little as a starter because Aké used from left back and the rise of the young Rico Lewis have gained positions in Pep Guardiola's priorities.

And so Cancelo began to suffer from the situation, to the point of expressing his disappointment directly to the Catalan manager who didn't think twice when he understood that Joao's thoughts could create an internal problem.

Yes, because if a top player like Cancelo is in a state of unhappiness he becomes a problem.

During conversations with the club, the Manchester City board and Pep Guardiola agreed that no player is bigger than the club and so a solution could be moved forward in the fastest possible way to allow Joao to leave Manchester, a shocking decision considering that only a year ago Cancelo signed a new contract with Manchester City valid until 30 June 2027.

But football is made of changes and Guardiola didn't think twice: keep a top fullback like Cancelo in the team with negative thoughts in mind it could only create a problem for the entire group at a crucial stage of the season.

Guardiola demands maximum concentration for the situation in the Premier League, the Champions League where you can no longer go wrong; no possibility of being conditioned by a player internally, maximum attention and green light for the departure of Joao Cancelo.

Here the incredible ability of the Bayern board takes over, primarily Hasan Salihamidzic who kept the contacts for Cancelo secret until the signings; the director of the German club knew that a leak too fast would create problems and allow other clubs to enter, so Bayern maintained top secret contacts with Cancelo's agent until they reached a loan deal with a €70m buy option with the Manchester City.

A negotiation that lasted two days, very fast but perfect in management because Cancelo immediately said yes to Bayern and Manchester City approved the €70m buy option clause which will not be mandatory, so Bayern can decide at the end of the season what to do with Joao.

The player's green light was a key factor in proceeding with speed, Cancelo couldn't wait to change his situation... and although there was a Spanish club asking for information until the end of the deal with Bayern, the German club won the race and signed Cancelo in an incredible deal.

A huge one, a surprising one.

Fabrizio Romano is an Italian sports journalist. He was born in 1993, he lives in Milan and has over 30 million followers in total on the major social networks.


He collaborates with 888sport, CBS Sports, Sky Sport, The Guardian and has been a transfer market expert since 2011. He will take care of a column dedicated to some "Behind the Scenes" of transfers.