Man Utd boss Ten Hag can now ‘fulfil initial wish’ to sign La Liga star after failed winter bid
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has his eyes on signing Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid, according to reports, after he returned from a loan at Chelsea.
The 23-year-old joined Chelsea on loan in January for the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign and went on to score four goals in 20 appearances for the Blues.
On Monday, after a difficult campaign in which they finished a lowly 12th in the Premier League, Chelsea announced the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach.
And, as reported by Marca, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo said of Felix: “The truth is that I can’t tell you the plan with Joao.
“It’s the news we had yesterday, that the new coach doesn’t have him for Chelsea. We don’t have anything planned yet, Joao is an Atletico player now.”
Atletico Madrid paid £113million to sign Felix, who is under contract with them until 2027, from Benfica in 2019.
He has made 131 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side, scoring 34 goals, and helped them win the 2020-21 LaLiga title.
But Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo now claim that Felix has ‘always been looked upon with good eyes’ at Man Utd after a loan deal in the winter ‘did not come to fruition due to small differences between the two clubs’.
And now Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘could fulfill his initial wish to have Joao Félix on the squad for next season’ with agent Jorge Mendes ‘already moving’ to make a deal happen.
The newspaper hints that the deal could be a loan or a permanent transfer with Mundo Deportivo listing another nine clubs that Felix could join this summer.
Benfica, Newcastle, Bayern Munich, Aston Villa, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Inter Milan and Juventus are all seen as possible destinations.
Chelsea didn’t have an option to buy the Portugal international from Atletico Madrid at the end of his loan deal and former Man Utd defender Gary Neville reckons that could prove to be a big mistake.
Neville told Sky Sports: “He [Felix] is a proper player, just the way he moves with the ball it looks different. He is so in control, class, real class, he has options in front of him but thinks no, I am going to go on my own, really good finish. They [Chelsea] have signed everybody but the one player they should have an option on they haven’t got.”
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