Arsenal ‘keen to sign’ £16m Man Utd target but key obstacle is affecting talks, Ornstein confirms

Arsenal-linked Felix Credit: Alamy
Arsenal-linked Felix Credit: Alamy

The Athletic’s David Ornstein has confirmed that Arsenal are in the race to sign Joao Felix but the loan fee demanded by Atletico Madrid is “too high”.

Felix is on the market amid his difficult start to the season at Atletico Madrid.

The forward has reportedly fallen out of favour with Diego Simeone and he was in and out of the team before the World Cup.

The Portugal international put these difficulties behind him in Qatar as he grabbed a goal and two assists as the European side exited the competition in the quarter-finals.

Felix is now being heavily linked with a move to the Premier League and it is likely that he will leave Atletico Madrid on loan.

A switch to Aston Villa was initially mentioned but Arsenal and Man Utd are now understood to be in a two-horse race to sign the attacker.

Atletico paid around £113m to sign the 23-year-old from Benfica in 2019 and it is understood that they want a significant loan fee from whoever secures his services until the summer.

The La Liga outfit reportedly want around £16m for Felix and this is said to be putting off Man Utd. 

The Red Devils have already decided against signing Cody Gakpo with the finances of the deal one of the reasons why they let Liverpool have a ‘free run’ at him.

Man Utd are in the market for a loan signing who could replace Cristiano Ronaldo in the short term.

According to Ornstein, United and Arsenal are hoping that the “numbers will come down” so they can seal a more affordable deal for Felix next month.

“They’re also keen to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid,” Ornstein said on NBC Sports (via TEAMtalk).

“He’s been offered to a number of clubs, but at the moment the numbers are too high.

“Jorge Mendes, his agent, knows he needs to move because he’s out of favour at Atletico.

“Arsenal are keen to do it, but the numbers would need to come down for that to happen. And I think probably they will.

“It would only be a six-month loan and that’s going to be very expensive. But he is a high-quality player.”

Ben Jacobs confirmed last week that Felix is a player Mikel Arteta “really likes”.

“With Joao Felix, I think there is a bit more in this from Arsenal’s perspective,” Jacobs told GiveMeSport.

“I do think that Mikel Arteta really likes the player. Arsenal need to understand what Felix’s desire is because there’s a whole lot of interest and also what the price point is with Atletico.”

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