Valencia are keen on a move for Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo but admit getting him out of the Etihad ‘very difficult’.

Cancelo joined City in the summer transfer window in a swap deal that saw Danilo head to Juventus.

However, he has struggled to establish himself in Pep Guardiola’s first-team, with just six starts in all competitions this season.

That has alerted Valencia who have made him a target for January and hope to convince City to let him go.

They know a deal will be very difficult but ‘not impossible’ and are not hiding the fact that the Portuguese full-back is their number one target.

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Valencia’s president and the coordinator of the technical team travelled on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to talk with Manchester City about a deal.

It’s not easy to get done, primarily because of the money involved, but also because City are not keen on letting him go in the first place.

Valencia’s strategy is to convince City that it would be wise to let Cancelo go out on loan now so that he can recover his market value rather than watching it depreciate on the touchline at Etihad.

He would be better served playing for Valencia in La Liga and the Champions League and ‘recover his market value’ so that Manchester City can then sell him for a good price in the summer and avoid him being an ‘economic disaster’.

Whether that’s something City will agree with remains to be seen, although it seems unlikely they’ll be open to letting a defender leave given their issues in that department at present.