Aston Villa plot ‘unrealistic’ Felix move as Arsenal, Man Utd speak to agent over €140m transfer

Atletico Madrid and Portugal forward Joao Felix smiles while sat on the bench Credit: Alamy
Atletico Madrid and Portugal forward Joao Felix smiles while sat on the bench Credit: Alamy

Joao Felix’s relationship with Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is ‘broken’ and the player’s agent is speaking to many clubs over a move in 2023, according to reports in Spain.

The Portugal forward is currently in Qatar for the World Cup.

He was on top form as his side dismantled Switzerland on Tuesday night, winning 6-1 to advance to the quarter-finals of the tournament, where they will face Morocco.

Felix has one goal and two assists in three appearances for Portugal in Qatar.

While the showpiece tournament goes on, there are many rumours circulating about the 23-year-old’s Atletico Madrid future.

Remarkably, Aston Villa have reportedly thrown their hat in the ring, despite interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Manchester United, and more.

This is according to Birmingham Live correspondent Ashley Preece.

Villa’s relationship with Felix’s agent Jorge Mendes is ‘growing stronger’ and the Midlands club ‘have been informed’ of the player’s situation in Madrid.

Preece admits it ‘feels totally unrealistic’, but I suppose stranger things have happened in football.

Spanish outlet Marca reckon Villa are ‘very well positioned’ to sign the former Benfica teenager.

Negotiations are already underway with Felix’s relationship with Simeone apparently ‘bad’.

Atletico chief executive Gil Marin recently discussed the player’s future, insisting a sale is possible.

“Signing him was the biggest bet the club has made in its history,” Marin told TVE.

“I think he is a top, world-class player, but because of the relationship with the coach, his playing time, his motivation… it’d be reasonable to analyse an option for him to depart if one arrives.

“It’s reasonable to think that he might leave, although I’d love him to stay. But, that’s not the player’s plan.”

Meanwhile, Relevo journalist Matte Moretto has claimed that Felix’s agent Mendes has already ‘spoken’ to Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich.

Arsenal and Manchester United could look to sign Felix in the winter transfer window.

The Red Devils released Cristiano Ronaldo last month, so are in the market for a new forward.

Arsenal, on the other hand, now have to deal with Gabriel Jesus’ absence after the Brazilian striker underwent knee surgery this week.

Both Premier League clubs have been linked with PSV and Netherlands attacker Cody Gakpo and are expected to be busy in January.

Moretto notes that PSG were the first club to make contact over a move.

Felix wants to join a ‘top club’, and given the sides believed to be in for him, it is difficult to imagine him joining Aston Villa, with all due respect.

His relationship with Simeone is ‘broken’, and Atletico are said to be asking for a monstrous amount of money – €130-140million to be more precise.

The Spanish club paid €127.2m to sign the Portuguese from Benfica in 2019.

His goal record leaves a lot to be desired, but he is playing in a negative side which prioritises defence over attack.

In 129 matches for Atletico, Felix has found the back of the net 33 times.

Discussing his future this week, Felix says his focus is on the World Cup with Portugal, but noted that his international team’s style of play is more “favourable” than Atletico’s.

“I’m completely focused on the World Cup,” he said on Tuesday.

“My agent doesn’t tell me anything about what’s going to happen, nor does he want to. I need to be focused on the now to play a great tournament.”

Felix added: “The way of playing with Portugal and then at the club is different. When the conditions are favourable, things go better.”

READ MORE: Ronaldo shock as Portuguese football journalists concentrate on Portuguese football!

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