£113m star has chance to put himself in Manchester United shop window
On Monday, Joao Felix’s Atletico Madrid was drawn in the Champions League last 16 versus Manchester United.
Felix, who has struggled to live up to his £113 million transfer fee paid by the Spanish side in 2019, will receive a lot of attention during the early 2022 matches.
“I ended up picking Atletico because it was the one I liked the most and I think it will give me the finest circumstances to succeed in my career,” Felix told The Mail last year.
Felix has had a difficult time thriving. After a breakout season for Benfica in which he scored 20 goals, there were high expectations for what he could offer to Atletico.
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He has 20 goals in two and a half seasons at Atletico Madrid. This season, only one of these has arrived.
United has been linked to Felix’s issues.
Felix’s lack of improvement at Atletico has raised doubts about his long-term prospects. According to the Spanish publication AS, he has requested to quit the club.
Manchester United is one of the teams identified by AS as being interested in the player’s predicament, which is quite predictable. United was connected with a move in 2019, according to The Standard.
Jorge Mendes, who also represents Manchester United stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, is Felix’s agent.
The 22-year-old is still a huge talent, but with Atletico Madrid in fourth place in La Liga and a goal drought, the pressure is mounting.
Atletico Madrid’s attack is bolstered by Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann, so Felix needed to demonstrate greater improvement by now.
He’s signed until 2026, and if Atletico wanted to cash in, they’d have to take a significant loss on his £113 million transfer fee.
Chance to play in the Champions League
The Champions League draw immediately puts an end to rumors that Felix could be sold to Manchester United in January. It seemed improbable even before it happened.
Felix will be able to put himself in the shop window for United or any other interested clubs as a result of the tie.
Felix raising his game for the knockout ties and demonstrating why he cost so much money in the first place would be typical United bad luck.
“Cristiano is a tremendous inspiration for me,” Felix told The Mail last year. “When we’re with the national team, he always tries to offer me and all of the young lads advice about work, motivation, everything.”
The Champions League matches against United could either be the turning point in Joao Felix’s career or the final straw in his Atletico Madrid tenure.
The matches may even serve as a warm-up for a long-rumored move to Old Trafford in 2022, with United expected to want to acquire a forward to replace Edinson Cavani next summer.