Which clubs are interested in signing João Félix in January?
João Félix’s relationship with Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone has broken down and the Portuguese could leave in January.
João Félix tried to kick the issue further down the line at the Media Centre in Qatar last week but only served to draw more attention to his troubles at Atlético Madrid with Diego Simeone: “When the World Cup is over, it’ll be time to talk about Atleti,” he said.
He may have been referring to 18 December, the day of the 2022 World Cup final in Doha, but the end for Félix and Portugal is already upon us. Morocco dumped A Seleção out in the quarter-finals and the 23-year-old will have to think – and speak – about his future earlier than he would’ve hoped.
And it appears for all the world as if that future will look very different to the last three-and-a-half years, where he has been under Simeone’s tutelage at Atlético Madrid. A few days ago, CEO Miguel Ángel Gil Marín confirmed an open secret; there has been a breakdown in the relationship between the Argentinian boss and the Portuguese star and that only one of the two is likely to stay at the club come January. Simeone’s contract runs until June 2024.
“I’d love him to stay but for reasons that I won’t go into, the relationship between the coach and the player means that if an offer comes in that suits João Félix, the club and the buying club, we have to at least consider it,” explained Gil Marín to TVE. Jorge Mendes, Félix’s agent, has been working on his client’s future for the last few weeks and, according to sources close to him, is expected to notify Atlético of bids of around €100 million for the Portuguese playmaker.
João Félix Atlético Madrid’s “biggest ever signing”
“João is the biggest signing the club has ever made,” Gil Marín acknowledged. Los Rojiblancos spent €127 million to acquire Félix’s services from Benfica, €57 million more than the €70 million they paid Monaco for Thomas Lemar in 2018. While the Portugal international was consistently superb in his six months at the Lisbon club, Atleti have only seen flashes of what he is capable of in his three seasons in Madrid. Félix’s ups and downs have left Simeone unconvinced, with the Argentinian coach looking for Antoine Griezmann-like performances from all his top players; their work-rate needs to match their talent. The World Cup has enhanced Félix’s reputation once again; he started the tournament as a substitute but ended it as a starter for Portugal, although his impressive performances didn’t lead to him getting on the scoresheet.
Which clubs could sign João Félix in January?
With Bayern Munich seemingly out of the running, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United appear to be Félix’s most likely destinations, although Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have also come into the equation and some reports even claim newly-rich Newcastle and Aston Villa, managed by Unai Emery, are hopeful of luring him to England.
PSG and United are the two clubs who have shown most interest, with the Red Devils looking for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, another of Mendes’ clients. The Portuguese would have to compete with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial for a starting spot at Old Trafford but would likely find game time much harder to come by in Paris. Despite PSG football advisor Luis Campos’ admiration for his compatriot, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé are the current front three and are nailed-on starters.
Everything looks as if it’ll become clearer in January.
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