Manchester United and Arsenal are both interest in signing Atletico Madrid’s Portugal attacker Joao Felix, but they may have different paths to that goal.
Felix was the second-most expensive teenager of all time behind Kylian Mbappe when he joined Atletico from Benfica in a €126 million deal in July 2019, but he has fallen out of favour under Diego Simeone at the Estadio Metropolitano.
Atletico have a number of final third operators – from Antoine Griezmann and Angel Correa to Saul Niguez, Thomas Lemar and Matheus Cunha – competing with Felix for playing time, and they have also run into financial trouble.
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It is understood los Colchoneros would like to recoup the majority of their initial outlay on Felix, but neither of his likely Premier League suitors are likely to pay such a figure.
In United’s case, Felix’s acquisition could be potentially opportunistic more than anything. The Red Devils are really after an out-and-out No.9 this winter, but Felix’s availability is interesting, particularly with the prospect of him arriving on loan.
Joao Felix making it 5 in 5 games by opening the scoring for Atletico Madrid tonight.
— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) March 11, 2022
Jadon Sancho’s isn’t in the right place “physically or mentally” according to his manager at Old Trafford, Erik ten Hag, while Alejandro Garnacho, whilst promising, remains 18.
But with Antony also in the squad and Marcus Rashford happy to operate out wide, Felix would still have fierce competition for places. A loan deal before a permanent bid is most likely.
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It is a slightly different story at Arsenal. The Gunners remain top of the Premier League, provisionally seven points clear after beating West Ham 3-1 on Monday, but they might have to see out the season without attacking talisman Gabriel Jesus.
The former Manchester City man has undergone surgery on a knee injury and is out for at least the next three months. His profile of a player who can play in more than one attacking position is matched by Felix’s.
The Gunners would sooner buy outright than loan first, but they don’t want to be priced out of a move with Felix viewed as an alternative for Mykhailo Mudryk, whom Shakhtar Donetsk are refusing €62m for per the latest reports.