Manchester United have reportedly taken the next step in their pursuit of Joao Felix, with the transfer saga surrounding the Atletico Madrid forward gaining steam…
What’s the word?
According to a report from transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the Red Devils have put forth their first official offer to Atletico manager Diego Simeone for the acquisition of Felix, with a view to attaining his services to lead the line across the business end of the 2022/23 campaign.
Reports from Spain have recently confirmed that a meeting between Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin and Felix’s agent Jorge Mendes had taken place, with the immediate future of the dynamic forward likely to have been at the forefront of the conversation.
With United manager Erik ten Hag short on centre-forward options since the abrupt departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in November, someone of Felix’s calibre would be great appreciated by the ambitious Premier League outfit.
However, with a fee of roughly €100m (£86m) allegedly required to prise the Portuguese gem away from the Wanda Metropolitano on a permanent deal, a loan move has been discussed.
“Beautiful” to watch
When Felix arrived onto the scene with Benfica in his homeland, heads were turned across the continent at the captivating and coruscating style of the young phenomenon, with a transfer to one of football’s most prominent clubs seeming inevitable long before it happened.
Having scored an impressive 20 goals and registered 11 assists from only 43 appearances for the Lisbon club, impressing despite his tender age and inexperience, Felix earned a lucrative £113m transfer to Spanish giants Atletico in 2019, where he has since made steady if unspectacular progress.
Largely due to the polarity between the 23-year-old’s style of play and Simeone’s structured, regimented philosophy, tensions between the club and player have seemingly reached boiling point, and the overarching feeling is that all parties would be best placed by instigating a transfer away from Madrid.
Felix has only scored 34 goals and supplied 18 assists across 130 appearances for Atletico, but he has maintained his natural grace and elegance, with talent scout Jacek Kulig once saying that the 23-year-old is “a beautiful player to watch“.
Should Man United sign Joao Felix?
NO – Look elsewhere!
Over the past two seasons, the £246k-per-week maestro has racked up 24 direct goal contributions despite only making 32 starts across all competitions, and he would likely flourish under Ten Hag’s wing at the Theatre of Dreams.
As evidenced by his exploits with Portugal, Felix can excel as a dynamic and multi-faceted forward, with Sofascore recording his average rating at 7.03 at the 2022 World Cup, landing a goal and two assists from four outings while averaging 2.8 shots and 0.8 key passes per match.
If United are able to get the deal over the line this January, they must do so swiftly as there are a swirling tank of suitors eyeing Felix’s name, and moves must be taken to bring him to Old Trafford to spearhead the new era under Ten Hag.