Arsenal, Aston Villa discover colossal price tag for World Cup star, as his favoured destination emerges

Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid, September 2022 Credit: Alamy
Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid, September 2022 Credit: Alamy

Premier League clubs including Arsenal and Aston Villa have found out how much Joao Felix will cost to sign from Atletico Madrid, while the player’s ideal next club has also been revealed.

Felix is unhappy at the Wanda Metropolitano. Atleti boss Diego Simeone is struggling to get the best out of him, resulting in him scoring just four goals from 18 appearances so far this season.

This is partly down to the forward not being in the usual starting eleven. Simeone prefers to operate with Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata up front. This has reduced Felix to the role of an impact substitute.

The Portuguese knows he can do better than this and has told his agent to find him a new club. And it looks like a move to England is on the cards.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with Felix over the past few months. He has been tipped as a replacement for compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford.

But Man Utd are prioritising a move for PSV and Netherlands star Cody Gakpo. As such, it is unlikely they will spend big money to sign Felix in 2023 too.

Arsenal got involved in the chase for Felix on Wednesday. According to football.london, the injury to Gabriel Jesus has resulted in Arsenal chiefs setting their sights on Felix.

And journalist Paul Brown has previously claimed Arsenal to be long-term fans of the 23-year-old. This suggests they have deep knowledge of his playing style and how to get the best out of him.

Striker race involves Arsenal, Villa and Man Utd

Unfortunately for the Gunners, their former manager Unai Emery could prove to be a thorn in their side. He is now in charge of Aston Villa and wants to take Felix to the West Midlands.

As per Spanish newspaper Marca, Villa are ‘well placed’ to land Felix before he goes to Arsenal or Man Utd. Emery is aiming to use his La Liga connections to get the deal over the line.

The Evening Standard have now given an update on the Felix situation. They claim Atleti are warming to his potential sale and have set his exit fee at £86million (€100m).

This means Atleti will take a financial hit when letting the attacker depart. They spent a whopping £113m to sign him from Benfica in summer 2019, according to BBC Sport.

While Atleti will be losing money when selling Felix for £86m, it still represents a huge sum for Arsenal or Villa to match. Arsenal’s record signing is Nicolas Pepe, who cost £72m. Villa’s, meanwhile, is the £34.6m capture of Emi Buendia.

Arsenal, Villa must break transfer records to sign Joao Felix

Therefore, either Arsenal or Villa would have to smash their record arrival to land Felix. It will take some convincing to get either club’s owners to sign off on this.

Unfortunately for Arsenal and Villa, Felix may end up pushing for a rival move. Football Transfers provide their information on the player and state Newcastle hope to sign him too. Instead, though, Felix wants to move to Man Utd.

He apparently has reservations about joining Newcastle as their project is ‘still in its infancy’.

Of course, Man Utd are behind Newcastle in the Premier League table right now and are out of the top four. But it seems Felix backs Erik ten Hag to get them into the Champions League qualification spots.

It would be a surprise if Felix ended up at Arsenal. While he fits into the right age bracket for Mikel Arteta’s project, he will simply cost too much.

For £86m, Arsenal could sign two or three young players with big potential. Arteta could then develop them into first-team stars, just like he has done with Gabriel Martinelli.

Meanwhile, a midfielder linked with Man Utd has been told an Arsenal switch would be more suitable for him.

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