REPORT: Joao Felix Close to Transfer Decision
Benfica star Joao Felix is one of Europe’s most coveted players. 16 goals in the 19-year-old’s breakthrough season has caught the eye of numerous clubs. After months of speculation, reports suggest Felix is close to signing for a. Earlier this week Benfica refuted this: however, with Atletico believed to have met Felix’s release clause, Benfica are powerless to stop the move.
Joao Felix Close to Atletico Madrid Move
Late Interest From Elsewhere Ignored
According to Portuguese outlet Record, Real Madrid have had a last-minute offer rejected. Benfica are understood to only be willing to accept offers meeting Felix’s €120 million release clause. Similarly, Manchester United have also seen their €100 million bid rejected, according to Ben Hayward for The Manchester Evening Standard. With Atletico Madrid the only side willing to meet Joao Felix’s release clause and the striker’s preferred destination, the deal appears imminent.
How Will Joao Felix Fit?
The most obvious answer is as Antoine Griezmann’s replacement. Griezmann remains likely to join Barcelona, with The Daily Express’ Jack Otway claiming they will offload six players to get him and Neymar. Griezmann led the club’s scoring chart with 19 goals last season: the next best only managed six. Furthermore, Griezemann’s 11 assists were more than anyone else. His contribution to the side is enormous and will require a superstar talent to fill. Atletico have a long history of turning good strikers into stars: Griezemann, Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Diego Costa and Radamel Falcao. This will undoubtedly appeal to Joao Felix and may be a significant enticing factor.
Atletico are in the middle of a huge rebuild. Veteran leaders such as Diego Godin, Juanfran and Filipe Luis are all leaving this summer. Meanwhile, there is heavy transfer speculation regarding midfielder Rodri. Defender Lucas Hernandez has already left for Bayern Munich. More importantly than replacing personnel is a lingering identity question mark. Diego Simeone’s side continue to play organised, aggressive football, but can come unstuck against smaller sides. The addition of creative talent like Joao Felix, who has the ability to be dangerous from anywhere in the pitch, will be vital in progressing Atletico’s style of play.