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Can Joao Cancelo face Manchester City in Champions League? UEFA rule on Bayern Munich loanee revealed

Bayern Munich defender Joao Cancelo can play against his parent club Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League as long as there’s no clause in his contract that prevents him from doing so.

Manchester City and Bayern are two of the eight teams remaining in the Champions League, beating RB Leipzig and PSG respectively to qualify for the quarterfinals.

The two giants have now been pitted against each other in the last eight of the competition. The draw has raised questions about whether Cancelo will be able to feature in the tie.

Joao Cancelo fell out of favor at Manchester City in the first half of the season. Although he started the campaign as a regular starter for Pep Guardiola, he eventually found himself behind youngster Rico Lewis in the pecking order.

The Portugal international secured a shock loan move to Bayern in January as a result. He has since played eight games across competitions for the German giants, including both Round of 16 legs against PSG.

Earlier, players were not eligible to feature for two teams in the Champions League in the same season. However, that rule has been discarded, allowing Cancelo to play for Bayern in the Round of 16.

Things, though, are not as straightforward when it comes to facing Manchester City, his parent club. The full-back may not play against the Cityzens if there’s a specific clause in his loan deal. According to German journalist Tobi Altschaffl, though, Cancelo is eligible to feature in the tie. The Bild reporter tweeted:

“Joao Cancelo facing Manchester City in the UCL: he can play against his former club. There is no clause in his loan contract that he is not allowed to play against City.”

It’s worth noting that Bayern have an option to make Cancelo’s loan move permanent for €70 million.

How did Joao Cancelo fare for Manchester City before joining Bayern Munich?

Joao Cancelo joined Manchester City from Serie A club Juventus in August 2019. He went on to make 154 appearances across competitions for them, bagging nine goals and 22 assists.

The 28-year-old helped the Cityzens win five trophies, including two Premier Leagues. However, having fallen out with Pep Guardiola, his future could lie away from the Etihad. It remains to be seen if Bayern trigger the option to sign Cancelo permanently.

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Edited by Dakir Mohammed Thanveer

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