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PSG, Bayern and United eyeing João Félix swoop

Both the French and German champions want the Portuguese forward. In the Premier League, Man United are believed to be interested.

Joao Felix second striker of Atletico de Madrid and Portugal sitting on the bench prior the La Liga Santander match between Atletico de Madrid and Rayo Vallecano at Civitas Metropolitano Stadium on October 18, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

João Félix is keen to leave Atlético de Madrid in the next transfer window or alternatively, in the summer, as Diario AS reported earlier this week. The forward is going through a personal ordeal working under Diego Simeone and even has had to resort to the help of a psychologist to help him face the months of competition that lie ahead while he remains at Atleti.

It’s clear João Félix isn’t happy and three clubs have already shown an interest in acquiring his services. Bayern Munich, PSG and an unspecified English club, which could likely be Manchester United. All three would be willing to take the player on in the New Year. As this newspaper has learned, PSG are already in contact with the Portuguese’s close circle. The Ligue 1 champions will be gathering information from the player’s entourage with a view of signing him in the January window, although that is a complicated option - above all, because Atlético expect João Félix to have a good World Cup with Portugal. If that happens, the Rojiblanco will be in a stronger position, either to retain him or sell him with his market value increased.

Both PSG and Bayern tried to sign him a few months ago, but Atlético refused any type of negotiation. United for their part, had tried to sign João Félix in 2019 when the player decided to accept Atleti’s offer. Last summer, United insisted and presented an offer for around 130 million euros. Atlético, with Miguel Ángel Gil at the helm and as João’s great supporter, rejected it and referred as always to the player’s release clause: 350 million euros.

From team leader to fifth choice

The Portuguese striker has asked to leave three times but Atlético have always closed the exit door. However, this time everything seems to indicate that they will not put any impediment to negotiate his departure. The relationship with Simeone is more complicated than ever and, although the coach insists that when the player recovers his best version and is scoring regularly he will be back in contention, it’s not quite as simple as that. Looking at the numbers, João Félix is the team’s fifth striker in terms of contribution.

The coach’s confidence in João has waned since the season began and plummeted to new depths after the player returned from international duty with Portugal. João Félix started seven of the first eight games of the season, after enjoying a remarkable preseason; he provided three assists in the league opener against Getafe and appeared to be forming a connection with Morata. But after the international break, has he not only failed to enter the starting XI, but has played a total of just 37 minutes in six games. Against Brugge, there was an episode of a bib being thrown, and against Rayo, he did not even make it onto the pitch.

João Félix’s wish is to leave in January. Atlético would prefer that, if necessary, his departure took place at the end of the season. However, it cannot be ruled out that the agreement would end up being closed under the formula of a transfer in January with a mandatory purchase option for the next summer. In any case, the future of João Félix, the most expensive signing in Atlético’s history, is more uncertain and complicated than ever.