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Atletico Madrid rejects €150m offer for Joao Felix from Premier League club



Atletico Madrid turned down a €150 million (£135m/$168m) offer for forward Joao Felix from a Premier League club earlier this season, sources close to the Liga side have told Goal

The 20-year-old Portuguese forward joined the Liga side last summer from Benfica although this did not stop intermediary acting on behalf of an English team approaching Atletico about a transfer prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bid, which came from an unnamed club and would have seen Felix move this summer, was seen as being serious although it was immediately rejected by Atleti.

Felix is highly regarded at the Wanda Metropolitano, with the club having shelled out €126m (£122m/$142m) to sign him from Benfica ahead of Antoine Griezmann’s departure for La Liga rivals Barcelona last year.

He has not lived up to that immense price tag quite yet, with eight goals and three assists in 29 appearances this season in between niggling ankle injuries.

He did, however, score twice in his first appearance after the resumption of La Liga following the coronavirus lockdown – a 5-0 away win over Osasuna – and he is regarded as a potential star of the future.

Atletico managed to sign Felix ahead of interest from Real Madrid, Manchester City, Juventus and others, and are not keen on parting with a prized asset so quickly.

It now remains to be seen whether leading clubs will be able to afford transfers on this scale for the foreseeable future, with the Covid-19 pandemic having had a serious effect on club finances with the loss of matchday revenue as teams are forced to play behind closed doors.

Goal can confirm City were interested in Felix before his move to Atleti although it’s unclear if Pep Guardiola’s side made the more recent follow-up approach, with it not being usual for the former Barcelona coach to go back in for a player who has previously opted against linking up with the Catalan.

Felix’s underwhelming first campaign for Atletico has led some to suggest he would have been better off at another leading European side, with fellow countryman Carlos Carvalhal stating the Portugal international should have joined city rivals Real.

The head coach at Primeira Liga side Rio Ave said: “Joao Felix is​​ a great player and I don’t want to create controversy with my statements. He is a player with incredible technical ability, but I’m not sure Atletico’s way of playing is the best for him.

“That was my doubt when he signed for them. Diego Simeone is a great coach, his teams are very strong, very competitive, but Joao Felix does not seem to be the perfect player to be there.

“In a different situation, we would see a great Joao Felix. It will be a little difficult and it will take more time. He will have to transform as a player.

“If he had gone to a team like Real Madrid, he would be at a higher level. The context would be more favourable for him.

“It’s not a criticism of Simeone, there is no doubt about what he has achieved. The work speaks for itself, I just believe this marriage is not the best.”

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