Explained: How Ousmane Dembele's exit to PSG paved the way for Barcelona to sign Man City's Joao Cancelo on dramatic deadline day

Joao Cancelo Barcelona GFXGetty Images
  • Dembele departure cleared salary space
  • Cancelo had been winter target for Barca
  • Cancelo and Joao Felix in squad for Sunday

WHAT HAPPENED? After several delays, Barca were eventually able to complete a season-long loan deal for the full-back late on deadline day while also striking a similar agreement with Atletico Madrid for the arrival of forward Joao Felix. As reported by The Athletic, the departure of Ousmane Dembele to Paris Saint-Germain was pivotal in giving the Catalan club the financial freedom to land the Portuguese pair.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Barca's perilous financial situation has meant the club has had to operate under a much-reduced salary cap and work a number of financial 'levers' in order to comply with La Liga's strict rules. PSG triggering Dembele's €50.4 million (£43m/$55m) release clause last month was a key factor in balancing the books to bolster this season's squad.


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Ousmane Dembelepsg.frJoao-Cancelo(C)GettyImagesJoao Felix Portugal 2022Getty

WHAT NEXT FOR BARCELONA? The club wasted no time in officially registering the two Joaos with La Liga and both have been named in the squad for Sunday night's trip to Pamplona to face Osasuna.