Manchester United and Arsenal’s hopes of signing Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix in January have been handed a fresh boost with reports that Diego Simeone is growing restless at the ongoing transfer saga.
Felix, 23, is reportedly available for just £8 million on a six-month loan deal, which has attracted both Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta. Chelsea are also said to be interested, although the Blues appear to have turned their attention to Shakhtar Donestk’s Mykahlio Mudryk along with finalising a deal for RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku.
Felix was a key member of the Portugal side that reached the quarter-final stage of the 2022 World Cup, but has been in and out of the Atleti starting XI this season, with Simeone rotating his forward line on a frequent basis.
READ: How Arsenal will line up with Joao Felix
Despite selling Matheus Cunha to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Atleti are still said to be open to offloading Felix this month, although talks haven’t progressed particularly quickly, to the annoyance of Simeone.
According to El Larguero’s Julio Pulido: “Simeone is annoyed with all this: he sees that the days go by and there is no solution [to Felix’s transfer saga].”
READ: Premier League 2022/23 January transfers: All the Done Deals
What have Atletico said?
In December, Atletico chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin admitted: “The reasonable thing is to think that he [Felix] is leaving, although I would love him to continue. But that is not the player’s idea.
“He is the biggest bet the club has made. I think he has the highest level in the world, but because of his relationship with the coach, the minutes played, his motivation…the reasonable thing to do is to consider his departure if an offer comes in.”
Simeone also commented on Felix, stating: “He had a good World Cup, he participated in goals. Hopefully we can have the Joao of the World Cup…I hope we can give him the peace of mind and joy to show what he demonstrated in the World Cup, which was very good.”
Felix’s current contract at Atleti isn’t due to expire until 2026, but he’s likely to leave in January, either on loan or permanently. Felix scored in Atletico’s 2-0 win over Elche in their first La Liga game back after the World Cup.