Chelsea has been dealt a serious blow in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix. The Blues are in need of a new attacker following Armando Broja’s long-term injury and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s struggles since signing in the summer.
Borja is set to miss the remainder of the season after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury during the World Cup break. Aubameyang and Kai Havertz have struggled in front of goal this term which could force Boehly’s hand in signing a new forward for Graham Potter.
Felix has struggled under Diego Simeone and looks set to be allowed to secure a move away from Atleti in January. The La Liga outfit is hoping to recoup a similar fee to what they paid for the 23-year-old back in 2019 and is in a strong position to negotiate with Felix’s contract not set to expire until 2026.
The Blues are considering a move for the Portugal international to bolster Graham Potter’s attack, according to a report from the Telegraph. The 23-year-old was part of Fernando Santos’ Portugal side that reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup before being dumped out at the hands of Morocco.
Atleti CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin has already opened up on the breakdown in the relationship between the player and manager at the club. Marin told the media: “Joao Felix has a top level but because of his relationship with Simeone and game time… we feel that makes sense to consider potential bids to sell him.”
Felix himself has been honest and hit back against his Argentine coach. After the 6-1 win against Switzerland in the World Cup round of 16, the Portuguese forward said: “The way of playing with Portugal and then at the club is different. When the conditions are favorable, things go better.”
Whilst the Blues are still considering their options, Felix’s agent Jorge Mendes has already held talks with Premier League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal. The Gunners were keen on signing the 23-year-old earlier this year as reported by football. London, but they opted to pursue a deal for Gabriel Jesus instead.
United agreed to terminate Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract and is in the market for a new striker. Erik ten Hag was hoping to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV, but fierce rivals Liverpool have seemingly beaten them to his signature after agreeing to a £37million fee with the Eredivisie outfit.
Atletico wants between €130-140million (£114-123million) for Felix, according to Relevo. An alternative option for his departure in January is a loan deal including an obligation-to-buy clause that would see him leave permanently in the summer.
press hub understands that the Blues have been scouting Felix for some time, but interest remains tentative at this stage. Things could change quickly should Boehly and Potter believe he is the right fit for the club and the man to fire Chelsea back into the top four.