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Cash-strapped Barcelona sign Portuguese stars Felix and Cancelo on loan

Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Barcelona completed the signings of Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo on transfer deadline day, adding the Portuguese internationals on season-long loans from Atletico Madrid and Manchester City, respectively.

Neither deal includes a purchase option.

Felix, 23, said earlier this summer that he wanted to leave Atletico and complete a "dream" switch to Barca, forcing Atleti's hand.

"The club publicly expresses their gratitude to the player for the financial effort made (to join) and his desire to wear the Barca shirt," the Catalan club said.

Felix, one of the most expensive players in history after joining Atletico from Benfica in 2019 for €126 million, has failed to establish himself as a consistent force in La Liga. He also struggled last season during a loan spell at Chelsea.

Cancelo, meanwhile, always appeared destined to leave the Etihad Stadium again after spending the second half of last season on loan at Bayern Munich. Once a vital contributor and trusted member of Pep Guardiola's title-winning sides, Cancelo fell out of favor with the manager.

Barcelona, who needed additional cover at right-back, were linked with his services all summer.

Barca's delicate financial situation delayed both deals, but they created enough space on their wage bill to land the Portuguese duo for one season.

Barcelona loaned prodigious academy graduate Ansu Fati to Brighton & Hove Albion earlier in the day and shipped Clement Lenglet to Aston Villa on a temporary deal. Defender Eric Garcia then sealed a loan move of his own to Girona, while winger Abde Ezzalzouli was sold to Real Betis for €7.5 million.

Combined, those moves allowed Barcelona to add Felix and Cancelo without running afoul of La Liga's strict financial rules.

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