Chelsea set to sign Joao Felix in £16m loan deal from Atletico Madrid

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Chelsea are on the verge of signing Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid after indicating to the Spanish club they will pay the required £10million loan fee.

The 23-year-old is now expected to move to west London with the Blues also agreeing to cover his full £270,000-a-week salary for six months, which would cost £6m.

It is not clear if Chelsea have agreed an option to buy the Portugal international, who is valued at around £88m.

The west Londoners had been working closely with Felix’s agent, Jorge Mendes, on a club-record deal to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica before it collapsed.

That deal fell through but Felix’s desire to move to a ‘Big Six’ Premier League club in January is now expected to be fulfilled after falling out with Atleti manager Diego Simeone.

Chelsea will sanction the move amid an injury crisis in their forward line with Christian Pulisic out for several weeks with a knee injury and Raheem Sterling having a scan on a hamstring issue.

Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang also pulled out of Chelsea’s 4-0 FA Cup third-round defeat to Manchester City on Sunday with a minor back issue, extending the club’s injury list to 11 players.

They will hope that Felix can help save the club’s season with the Blues tenth in the league and 10 points behind the Champions League qualification spots.

Manchester United had explored the possibility of signing Felix to fill the gap left by departed forward Cristiano Ronaldo but deemed him too expensive. They are widely expected to now be hijacking Besiktas’s loan deal for Burnley striker Wout Weghorst.

Arsenal were also offered forward but have put all their effort into securing winger Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk instead.