Chelsea have reportedly reached a ‘verbal agreement’ to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid.
The Portugal international has been gunning for the Atletico exit having fallen out of favour with manager Diego Simeone.
Arsenal and Manchester United were thought to be battling to sign the 23-year-old, but it looks as though Chelsea have swooped to land him.
David Ornstein of The Athletic has revealed the ‘verbal agreement’ and claims the loan fee is £9m for the rest of the season.
He also confirmed that both United and Arsenal were interested but Felix opted for Chelsea as the ‘project appealed‘.
CBS journalist Ben Jacobs says Chelsea will pay all of Felix’s wages, which amount to £5.3m, and claims that although Chelsea are pushing, Atletico are yet to agree to a buy option in the contract.
He claims Chelsea had ‘backed away from signing him but reprioritised him again in the past 48 hours after the two losses to Manchester City and talks with Graham Potter’, with ‘short-term needs’ trumping their concerns over a lack of ‘long-term value’.
Talks are ‘very advanced’ and while ‘another suitor could technically counter’, both Arsenal and United ‘made it clear anything above a £5m loan fee was (with no option) too high’.
Felix isn’t the only forward Chelsea are looking at, with both Mykhaylo Murdyk and Marcus Thuram reportedly on their shortlist.
Thuram could be available for around £6m with his contract set to expire, but the Frenchman appears to want to wait until the summer when he will be available on a free transfer.
And despite Chelsea’s best efforts to lure Mudryk to Stamford Bridge, the Ukraine international has his heart set on a move to Arsenal.
Transfer expert Graeme Bailey told TEAMtalk: “Arsenal want Mykhaylo Mudryk and they want the deal doing as soon as possible. We have already seen talks commence with Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk.
“Arsenal have no say on who Shakhtar can talk to, but they feel that their London rivals have been used somewhat to try and push them into a deal.
“But that aside talks continue and Arsenal remain confident they get a deal done.
“And you can’t ignore the fact that Mudryk has pushed so hard to get to Arsenal and I understand the player himself has made it clear again in the last week that Arsenal remain his first choice… and fair play to him, he is really pushing for that.”
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