Julian Nagelsmann reveals reason for Joao Cancelo axing against PSG

Julian Nagelsmann has defended his decision to leave Joao Cancelo out of the Bayern Munich team that started last week’s Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain, and says the omission was because he's not able to play in a back three.

Cancelo joined Bayern at the end of the January transfer window after losing his place at Manchester City in an attempt to secure himself more playing time.

But it hasn’t been plain sailing for the Portugal international as he seeks to settle in Germany. Prior to Saturday’s win over Augsburg, he was yet to complete 90 minutes of a game in a Bayern shirt, was left on the bench against Stuttgart recently and was hooked at half-time in the first leg against PSG.

Nagelsmann has favoured a back three system in the second half of the season, which means Cancelo is considered as a wing-back rather than a defender. Further up the pitch, he is competing with Kingsley Coman, while he doesn’t have skillset to drop deeper.

As Nagelsmann explained after Cancelo started against Augsburg, both scoring and assisting in the 5-3 win, it was why he didn’t start in Paris or a few days earlier against Stuttgart.

“We needed back three players for Paris and we needed to give other players rhythm in the two games before. And Joao is not a back 3 player. It’s simple,” the Bayern coach said.


“We could talk about it for five hours, but Joao has never played centre-back in a back three. It’s simple to understand why he didn’t play. [Augsburg], he did well - as did Leroy [Sane] and Serge [Gnabry]. We made five changes on the lineup and when you win, you did everything right.”

Sadio Mane has already urged Bayern to make Cancelo a permanent member of the squad next season and beyond, describing him as ‘one of the best in the world’.

However, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has expressed doubt over triggering a €70m purchase option because of the high cost. That being said, 90min reported in February that talks have already taken place with Manchester City to try and negotiate a slightly lower fee.

There is interest from Real Madrid and Chelsea. If he is to leave City for good, Cancelo’s preference would be to stay with Bayern, but he also hasn’t ruled out returning to Manchester.


On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Man Utd's transfer needs & strategy for this summer, Tottenham's interest in Emi Martinez, Liverpool scouting two rising Benfica stars & more.

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Source : 90min