Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo is wanted by Barcelona in a deal seeing Nelson Semedo going the other way, with Europe’s top clubs now ready to look at swapping players when the next transfer window eventually opens.
Spending is expected to fall following the loss of revenue from the coronavirus crisis but trading players is being explored by Champions League clubs. Juventus are also understood to have made enquiries about available players for such deals.
Alexis Sanchez’s switch to Manchester United with Henrikh Mkhitaryan going to Arsenal was a rare swap in the Premier League in recent seasons but are appearing increasingly attractive among chief executives once football opens its doors again and the season is completed.
Cancelo, 25, arrived at the Etihad last summer from Juve in a part exchange with Danilo worth £60million. But the Portugal international has started just eight Premier League games and City could use him to freshen up their squad for next season.
Pep Guardiola was asked about Cancelo’s future before sport was halted for Covid-19 spread, with the City manager suggesting he would not stand in the way of a player if he wanted to leave. “This player we bought him for many years, not for six months, but what happens happens,” he said.
Semedo, 26, is Cancelo’s international team-mate and has been at Barca for three years following a deal from Benfica worth £26.5million plus add-ons. He has two full seasons on his deal at the Nou Camp but has not agreed a new contract.
Guardiola also has Kyle Walker competing for a place at right-back but Semedo would add competition in that area.
A swap deal could freshen up both squads without spending cash, while also allowing budgets to be spent elsewhere. Juventus have a recent history of successfully targeting free transfers and swapping players is also seen by the Italians as a good transfer strategy.