After not appearing for the Portugal national team for most of 2017, Inter Milan defender Joao Cancelo has been called up to the team in preparation for the 2018 World Cup.
Cancelo last played in two international friendlies for Portugal – in a 3-0 win over Saudi Arabia in November 2017 while he was still with Valencia and in a 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in March.
The defender played in 61 minutes against the Netherlands in the loss.
During World Cup qualifications in 2017, Cancelo was nursing a medial collateral ligament injury that kept him out of action.
He scored in a pair of blowouts in 2016 against Andorra and the Faroe Islands – both 6-0 wins for Portugal.
Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has also been named to Fernando Santos’ team. Mario is currently on loan to West Ham United and that club has expressed an interest in purchasing him at the end of his loan stint.
Both Renato Sanches and Fabio Coentrao have been left off Portugal’s 35-man preliminary roster.
The bigger question is whether or not Cancelo will be purchased outright by the Nerazzurri from Valencia when his loan deal expires at the end of May.
Currently, Inter has expressed interest in keeping him, but the teams are still apart on the final fee due to the Spanish club. Inter has asked to delay the payment until after Financial Fair Play rules for the year are met, but Valencia has rebuffed those attempts.
Conversely, Valencia is planning to spend nearly €25 million to purchase Inter castoff Geoffrey Kondogbia from Inter.
It has been discussed that there could be a player-for-player swap, but those discussions have not elevated to the point of consideration by either club.
Valencia is asking for nearly €35 million for Cancelo.
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Portugal National Team
Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting Lisbon), Beto (Goztepe), Anthony Lopes (Lyon)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (Rangers), Pepe (Besiktas), Jose Fonte (Dalian Yifang), Cedric Soares (Southampton), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Rolando (Marseille), Luis Neto (Fenerbahce), Vitorio Antunes (Getafe), Nelson Semedo (Barcelona), Joao Cancelo (Inter Milan), Ricardo Pereira (Porto), Mario Rui (Naples), Ruben Dias (Benfica)
Midfielders: Joao Moutinho (Monaco), William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon), Joao Mario (West Ham United), Andre Gomes (Barcelona), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Adrien Silva (Leicester City), Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv Moscow), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Bruno Fernandes (Sporting), Sergio Oliveira (Porto)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Nani (Lazio), Ricardo Quaresma (Besiktas), Eder (Lokomotiv Moscow), Andre Silva (AC Milan), Gelson Martins (Sporting Lisbon), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia), Ronny Lopes (Monaco), Paulinho (Braga)