Chelsea reach verbal agreement to sign Joao Felix
Joao Felix of Atletico de Madrid, looks on during the LaLiga Santander, match between Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at Civitas Metropolitano Stadium on January 08 2023 in Madrid Spain.
Chelsea have reached a verbal agreement, to recruit Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid.
A deal has not been signed, but the Premier League side are expected to pay in the region of €11million (£9.68m) fee, which is below what their La Liga counterparts initially wanted.
There has been interest from Manchester United and Arsenal, but Felix is set to opt for Chelsea, having been attracted by their project.
If all goes to plan he will be followed into the west London club by more reinforcements this month.
They are especially keen to revitalise their attack. Atletico chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin seemed resigned to letting Felix go last month.
“The reasonable thing is to think he (Joao Felix) will leave,” he said to TVE. “Although I would love him to stay, that is not the player’s idea.”
The Athletic reported earlier this month that Atletico had been seeking a €21million (£18.6m; $22.5m) package, comprising a €15m loan fee plus €6m gross salary.
Felix has shown flashes of form this season for Atletico but both he and the team have struggled for consistency.
The Portuguese has five goals and three assists in 20 club appearances this season, having been used across the front line in a variety of different formations by head coach Diego Simeone.
Felix started in a front two for Atletico on Sunday as they lost 1-0 at home to league leaders Barcelona. He was substituted after 73 minutes.
Chelsea have already been active in the January transfer window, bringing in forward David Datro Fofana from Molde and defender Benoit Badiashile from Monaco.
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Both were named as substitutes for Chelsea’s FA Cup third-round tie against Manchester City, with Fofana making his debut during the 4-0 defeat.
Chelsea are also on course to add another forward to their ranks at the start of next season, having agreed a deal to sign Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig.
A fit and firing Felix would bring an awful lot to Chelsea, as the Portugal international remains potentially one of the most talented players in the world, if he can move from the limbo he has got stuck in at Atletico Madrid.
Felix sees himself as a goalscoring number 10 his boyhood hero was Kaka and he has a similar ability to create from deeper areas and also get closer to goal and finish.
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He is excellent at carrying the ball forward, can spot a pass in tight areas, and also has a knack of getting on the end of crosses.
Why this has not happened nearly enough at Atletico is difficult to know for sure, but he definitely wants to get to the Premier League and show what he can do, given the right opportunity.