In his first few months at Barcelona, where he is spending the season on loan, Joao Felix has shown a lot of promise.
After several years and a lot of unsuccessful tries, the Portuguese great found a squad where he could flourish.
It was four years ago when the star forward left his native Portugal for Spain in search of more opportunities. After repeatedly disagreeing with Diego Simeone’s strategy of putting defense first and offense second, Joao Felix and the Atletico Madrid manager had a falling out.
He was loaned out to Chelsea for the second part of the previous season when he had a miserable time. During the offseason, the 23-year-old even made it public that he wanted to play for Xavi Hernandez’s Barcelona instead of staying in Madrid.
In order to keep his salary below the Blaugrana’s already tight wage caps, he eventually consented to a pay cut. The versatile striker was also never shy about proclaiming his undying love for Barca, much to the displeasure of the upper management of the Colchoneros.
Felix-Atletico Madrid: No turning back
Felix has since put up three goals for his new side and has contributed significantly to the team’s success since coming. Two of his goals helped Barcelona to a 5-0 win against Royal Antwerp in the UEFA Champions League.
After his recent successes, it’s no surprise that talks of a long-term contract have begun to circulate. The 23-year-old is now scheduled to return to the Metropolitano in the summer of 2024.
Nevertheless, it’s quite doubtful he will stick around now that he has practically severed connections with coach Diego Simeone. They are at rock bottom in their relationship; therefore, Atleti are likely to try to make a quick buck at any cost.
New deal in Spanish capital for bigger capital gain
At the end of last month, Barcelona’s head coach Xavi remarked that it was too soon to talk about whether or not Felix will sign with the club permanently next summer. Their new sporting director, Deco, subsequently indicated that the team is seriously considering making the switch permanent.
But for the Portugal international to leave Atletico Madrid next summer, their La Liga rivals side would have to pay at least $85 million, as reported by Spanish outlet AS. The defending champions are aware that they must obtain capital before they can strike up a deal.
The Catalans’ current financial situation prevents them from signing anybody to a long-term contract. Meanwhile, this summer, the Madrid-based outfit are said to have extended the player’s contract through June 2029 in anticipation of his lucrative sale next summer.
Photo credit: IMAGO / @guelbergoes
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