The Spanish champions announced on Friday that Barcelona had loaned striker Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid and defender Joao Cancelo from Manchester City for the duration of the current campaign.
“Agreement has been struck between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid for player Joao Felix’s loan until June 30, 2024. The Catalan club announced Cancelo’s arrival after stating in a statement that there is no option to purchase.
On September 2, 2023, at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, Portuguese defender Joao Cancelo (2R) received his official introduction as a new player of FC Barcelona. He posed for pictures with vice-president Rafael Yuste (L), president Joan Laporta (2L), and sports director Anderson de Souza Deco (R). Image: AFP
Barcelona leased defender Clement Lenglet to Aston Villa and winger Ansu Fati to Brighton earlier on Friday in order to make space on the payroll for their new hires and to register the players with La Liga, which has stringent financial fair play regulations.
In addition, the Catalans leased defender Eric Garcia to Girona and sold winger Ez Abde to Real Betis for 7.5 million euros ($8.1 million), with the option to purchase him back and 50% of the proceeds from his next sale.
Atletico Madrid paid 126 million euros ($136 million) to purchase Felix from Benfica in 2019, making him one of the most expensive players in history at the age of 19.
After struggling to find continuous play in the Spanish capital, the 23-year-old Portuguese attacker was loaned to Chelsea by Atletico last season, where he continued to struggle.
Felix has previously expressed his want to play for Barcelona.
“The club publicly conveys their appreciation to the player for the monetary commitment made (to join) and his wish to don the Barca uniform,” Barcelona said.
Felix has agreed to a two-year contract extension with Atletico, which runs until 2029.
Then, Barcelona announced that Cancelo had joined on a loan from Manchester City, again without a buyout option.
Having spent much of the previous season using center defender Jules Kounde in that role, the team required a specialist right-back.
The 29-year-old Cancelo left Manchester City on loan in January after losing favor there during the previous campaign.
The Portugal international was essential to City manager Pep Guardiola in the past, helping the team win two Premier League titles.
In February 2022, Cancelo agreed to a five-year contract with City; but, less than a year later, Guardiola transferred him to Bayern.
Ilkay Gundogan, Oriol Romeu, and Inigo Martinez were all signed by Barcelona during a hectic transfer window, while Ousmane Dembele, Franck Kessie, and other players left.