Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been alerted to the availability of the ‘next Cristiano Ronaldo’, with Diego Simeone having reportedly changed his stance on the Atletico Madrid striker Joao Felix. The 22-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League again, and Antonio Conte seems to have leverage over Mikel Arteta.
Felix was considered untouchable by the Spanish giants earlier this season, but the Argentinian seems to have had a change of heart. And, with the north London rivals both in the market for candidates to bolster their respective frontlines, the Portugal international has emerged as an exciting option.
“Joao Felix meets what the team needs, Simeone said.” We have a way of working with the forwards. He’s doing very well, he’s happy, enthusiastic and it’s very important on an individual level so that he can later move on to the collective, which is what matters. “
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But now, according to BarcaTimes, Felix is no longer considered ‘non-transferable’ by Simeone and the striker’s agent is in contact with a number of clubs – one of whom is said to be Paris Saint-Germain. His departure ‘isn’t ruled out’, and should a suitable offer arrive, Atletico might not stand in his way through the exit door.
While Arsenal and Tottenham are likely to both be monitoring Felix’s situation having each once held interest not so long ago, Atletico could demand as much as £ 103.7million for ‘one of the best talents produced by Portuguese football’, according to CIES Football Observatory. Speaking to Tuttosport, via Calciomercato, in March 2019 amid Spurs’ priority interest in Felix, former Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira claimed that the forward is the best prospect to emerge from Liga Nos since Ronaldo.
“I am happy that all of Europe is talking about Benfica’s talents,” Filipe Vieira said. “Now it is clear that our project of betting on young players is bearing the desired results. Joao Felix the next Ronaldo?
“There is only one sure thing. Felix is one of the best talents produced by Portuguese football since Ronaldo,” the former Benfica chief added. “Joao has an incredible technique, he is fast and also very intelligent. He is a good person, he shows that he has important values that make me very proud.”
The Express are reporting that Atletico Madrid may be willing to include Giovani Lo Celso, who enjoyed an impressive loan spell at Villarreal last season, as part of any deal involving Felix. With Arsenal yet to reportedly propose a more lucrative offer, the Spurs have seemingly put themselves in the driving seat.
Felix was heavily linked with a move to Spurs in 2019 prior to securing an eye-watering £ 114million move to Atletico, where he became the world’s fourth most expensive player behind Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Philippe Coutinho. And, just days after penning a deal at the Wanda Metropolitano, he was asked whether a move to Spurs could be on the cards in the future. He replied: “I don’t know, maybe one day.”
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