Barcelona hatch audacious plan to sign Felix and Cancelo in January
The two loanees arrived in the summer to great fanfare. Felix had made headlines by publicly asserting that it was a dream for him to play for Barcelona while he was - and still is - on the books at Atletico Madrid. Cancelo, meanwhile, had been a long-time target of head coach Xavi, but Man City blocked a move in January 2023.
The cash-strapped Catalans were only able to bring the two in on loan and they even had to drop the buy options from their deals so as to be able to comply with LaLiga's stringent Financial Fair Play regulations. The two Joaos started off well but eventually endured a slump like the rest of the team.
Against Porto in the Champions League, however, the two emphatically bounced back as they both scored to overturn a 1-0 scoreline in favour of the Portuguese. This performance has reignited talk of Barcelona's intentions to sign the two permanently.
Barcelona want to act quickly
The Blaugrana are well aware that consistently good outings from their two stars will attract the attention of other clubs, some of which will have more resources at their disposal than the Catalans. Therefore, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona want to strike a deal with their respective sides already in January.
This will be anything but easy. The main priority for the winter window remains registering Brazilian wonderkid Vitor Roque and the club won't have a lot of money to spend. This is a problem because Atletico Madrid value their record signing at €80 million, while Man City would want €25m for Cancelo.
Barcelona, however, are keen to negotiate down these fees, being prepared to pay €40m for Felix and 15m for Cancelo. What the club believe will work in their favour is the fact that neither player wants to return to his parent club.
Both fell out with their respective coaches, Diego Simeone at Atleti and Pep Guardiola at Man City, and want to leave permanently. If the Joaos push for the transfers to be done, there is a chance Barcelona might be able to strike two bargain deals, though whether they will be able to do so already in January remains to be seen.