Pep Guardiola has refuted Xavi's claims that Manchester City prevented Joao Cancelo from joining Barcelona during the January transfer window.

Cancelo left Etihad Stadium in January after a falling out with Guardiola, subsequently signing with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

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Xavi disclosed Barcelona's interest in acquiring the Portuguese full-back in a recent interview with Catalan broadcaster TV3. Xavi stated that the club had been offered Cancelo but were later informed that Manchester City had vetoed the move to La Liga.

“We wanted Cancelo. They offered him to us, and we gave the okay,” Xavi said. “In the end, they told us that Manchester City did not want him to come to Barca. That is true.”

When questioned about Xavi's comments regarding Cancelo, Guardiola, who previously coached Xavi during his tenure at Barcelona, declined to criticize his former player. The Manchester City manager, speaking from Catalonia, denied that the club had blocked Cancelo's transfer to Barcelona.

“He has been misinformed,” Pep Guardiola stated, as per Sport. “He is far from reality. We decided that Joao had to leave, and we didn't care where, even if he wanted to go to Manchester United, our city rivals. I'm not saying Xavi was lied to, but I'm saying he was misinformed. Joao went to Bayern because Bayern wanted him. We didn't receive an offer from Barca.”

Joao Cancelo made 21 appearances for Bayern during his loan spell from Manchester City, but the German club is not expected to exercise their £63m option to make the transfer permanent.

Barcelona reportedly retains an interest in Cancelo, with recent reports suggesting that Manchester City could consider an offer of £34m.

The Portuguese international joined Manchester City from Juventus in 2019. Cancelo has made 154 appearances for City, playing a pivotal role in two Premier League triumphs. He is also eligible for a medal for the current season's success and has won the Carabao Cup on three occasions.