Three Premier League clubs have entered the race to sign flamboyant Portuguese attacker Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid, according to reports surfacing in Spain.
The 23-year-old looks set to move away from his parent club on loan for the second time this year during the transfer window and a return to England’s Premier League could be in the works for the forward.
Felix has asked his agent Jorge Mendes to sound out potential suitors in the English top tier and Newcastle, Aston Villa and Manchester United are believed to be circling for his signature.
Felix showed promise at Chelsea
Joao Felix opted to join Chelsea temporarily in January earlier this year after he had fallen out of favour under Diego Simeone at Atletico, though the ex-Benfica starlet was sent off just an hour into his debut against Fulham on January 12.
However, Felix returned with a bang against Chelsea’s London rivals West Ham when his suspension ended, notching the first of his four Premier League goals against the Irons in a 1-1 draw.
Felix, who started 11 times for the Blues in the division overall, often provided a bright spark during Chelsea’s limp end to the campaign and the youngster averaged a healthy 2.9 shots and 1.4 dribbles per game during his six-month stint with the Londoners.
Manchester United make their manoeuvre
Both Newcastle and Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in recruiting Felix for most of the summer, though Manchester United are now thought to be ready to make their move to bring the forward to Old Trafford.
According to Spanish outlet ABC, United have opened negotiations with Felix’s representatives about a possible season-long loan to Manchester.
The Red Devils are in the market for new additions in attack ahead of the new Premier League season and Felix’s technical qualities and versatility are thought to appeal to the club’s Dutch boss, Erik ten Hag.
United have already signed Mason Mount in midfield while keeper Andre Onana’s transfer from Inter Milan is also close to completion. However, adding some new blood to ten Hag’s options in the final third is also a priority, according to several sources.
Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund looks like the likeliest permanent signing for United in that position, however, a loan move for Felix would allow ten Hag to add another string to his bow at a reasonable financial outlay.
Atletico forcing Felix out?
Joao Felix’s current employers, Atletico Madrid, seem desperate to get his mammoth salary off their books, though the lofty price tag they’ve placed on their wantaway forward could scupper his chances of finding a new permanent home this summer.
However, Atletico are still making life as uncomfortable as possible for Felix and having already stripped him of his favoured number seven shirt, the club have also made the 23-year-old train with the academy sides in recent days.
Felix fell out with the notoriously bristly Atletico taskmaster Diego Simeone last season and with that relationship unlikely to be repaired, a parting of the ways looks likely this summer. French giants PSG have also been linked with a swoop for Felix.