Amid rumors of interest from Manchester United and reports that Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is ready to allow Joao Felix to leave this summer, the Portuguese sensation has spoken out.
Joao Felix has ruled out an exit from Atletico Madrid this summer after opening up about his future amid reputed interest from Manchester United.
The Portuguese sensation completed a stunning £113m move to the Spanish capital from Benfica in the summer of 2019 but failed to live up to the hype in the ensuing three years. The 22-year-old saw his last campaign with Atletico marred by injuries, and although he showed some bright moments, it’s been said that this summer could see the attacking midfielder move on to new pastures.
Amid links with United and reports that the La Liga outfit had offered Felix to several European teams, the Atletico star has now opened up to speculation over his future. And Felix insists he intends to go nowhere this summer.
“A departure from Atlético is not on the table, admitted the Portuguese international during a return event to his native country, as quoted by Marca. “I’m fine and my focus is on Atlético.
“I’m calm about the future, aware of what I can do and I feel good. I’m still on vacation, I’ve just started training to prepare for the pre-season, but I don’t think too much football .”
Despite spells on the sidelines through injury last season, the 2021-22 campaign saw Felix register his best numbers with Atletico to date. The striker has scored eight goals and registered four more assists, in 24 La Liga appearances.
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Although he rose to prominence at the age of 19 after scoring 15 league goals in 26 appearances for Benfica in his first senior season in football, the striker has so far not reached double in his three seasons with Atletico. With Diego Simeone’s side set to lose Luis Suarez on a free transfer this summer, Felix is set to shoulder more of the goalscoring burden next season.
In recent weeks, talks over the attacking midfielder’s transfer have accelerated. According to Correio da Manha, United are among a group of Premier League clubs vying to sign the striker, who is seen as a “strong option” by new Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag. Chelsea and Tottenham are also said to be monitoring the player’s situation ahead of potential offers.
It is believed Spurs in particular could be looking to exploit Felix’s availability and Atletico’s reported interest in one of their own outcasts. Earlier this month, AS claimed Simeone was an admirer of Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso.
The Argentine enjoyed an impressive campaign on loan at Villarreal last season and his performances have reportedly seen the Atletico boss rekindle his interest in the 26-year-old. Simeone is believed to have been following Lo Celso since his Real Betis days, even attempting to sign the midfielder in 2019 before Tottenham completed a £45m deal.
As for United, Ten Hag are reportedly looking for a new striker this summer. The Red Devils saw first hand the threat Felix possesses as he netted a stunning header against United in the first leg of last season’s Champions League round of 16 – a tie which Atletico emerged victorious .