Manchester City fans fear Joao Cancelo's loan switch will come back to haunt them after drawing Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The flying full-back, 28, was shipped out to the Bundesliga champions for the remainder of the 2022/23 campaign having fallen out with Pep Guardiola over a lack of game time. Cancelo started just three matches after the Premier League returned from the break for the World Cup while also falling behind teenager Rico Lewis in the pecking order.
Despite City not possessing an alternative senior left-back, the Portugal international was allowed to leave the Etihad with a view to a permanent switch, Bayern holding a €70million (£63m) option to buy at the end of the season. Now in a bizarre turn of events, Cancelo could be in line to face his current paymasters in the Champions League.
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City have been pitted against Bayern in the last eight of the competition and, unlike in the Premier League, there are no rules stating players are not permitted to face their parent club. Though it's unknown if the two clubs have an agreement in place regarding Cancelo's availability.
"My head has gone Cancelo is fully gonna knock us out," cried one City fan on social media. "Cancelo assist > Sane goal after 97th minute controversial VAR check to knock us out of the Champions League – incoming," harked a second.
"Read the script, it is Cancelo goal in the penalty shoot out to knock us out," commented a third. "Can’t wait for Cancelo to knock us out of Europe," stated a fourth. While a fifth posted a picture of Simpson's characters angrily looking at Homer alongside the caption: "Cancelo on the City team bus next season wearing his UCL medal".
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Cancelo wouldn't be the first to face his parent club in the Champions League. Thibaut Courtois played both legs of Atletico Madrid's semi-final victory over Chelsea whilst on loan from the Blues in 2013/14 with Man City loanee Patrick Roberts scoring for Celtic against his parent club in a group stage match in 2016/17
Bayern themselves have made a recent habit out of players facing their parent sides. On loan from Real Madrid at the time, James Rodriguez was part of the Bavarian outfit that faced Los Blancos in the 2017/18 semi-finals, scoring in a 4-3 aggregate defeat.
And in the restarted 2019/20 season, Philippe Coutinho came off the bench to bag two and claim an assist in an 8-2 thumping of parent club Barcelona. The on-loan Bayern midfielder was also deployed in the second half in the final win over PSG.
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