Chelsea win race for Man Utd, Arsenal target as Joao Felix joins on loan from Atletico Madrid

Joao Felix of Chelsea Credit: Alamy
Joao Felix of Chelsea Credit: Alamy

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid, with the attacker becoming Graham Potter’s fourth new arrival of the January transfer window.

Chelsea have already brought in David Datro Fofana, Benoit Badiashile and Andrey Santos this month. And their attack has now been bolstered by Felix’s arrival from Spain.

He has joined Potter’s side on loan until the end of the season. There is not thought to be the option for a permanent move, though Chelsea will pay an €11million (£9.7m) loan fee for the Portugal international.

Reacting to his move to Stamford Bridge, Felix told club media: “Chelsea is one of the great teams in the world and I hope to help the team reach their objectives, so I am very, very happy to be here and very excited to play at Stamford Bridge.”

Felix is likely to return to the Atleti first team upon the end of his Chelsea loan, as he has extended his contract with the Rojiblancos. His new deal runs for an extra year, until summer 2027.

Felix had been linked with both Man Utd and Arsenal earlier in the January window. Man Utd were looking at him as a potential replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, following the termination of his contract. Arsenal, meanwhile, took steps to sign Felix to fill their striker void, following Gabriel Jesus’ knee surgery.

However, both teams have missed out on Felix and he will now represent Chelsea for the next six months. He will compete with Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a starting spot up front. Fofana is expected to be loaned out, while Armando Broja is out for a long spell due to an ACL rupture.

Felix will be hoping to make a big impression at Chelsea after an underwhelming spell with Atleti. The La Liga side paid an astonishing £113m to sign him from Benfica in 2019, when he was just 19 years old.

Joao Felix set for new challenge in England

Atleti admitted at the time that the transfer was a huge bet, as they were paying for Felix’s world-class potential. The player struggled to shine at the Wanda Metropolitano though, partly down to Diego Simeone’s defensive style of play.

Felix will want to turn things around at Chelsea and help them move up the Premier League table. They currently sit in 10th place after winning just seven out of 17 matches.

Should Felix do well in west London, then he will return to Atleti as a more confident and well-rounded player. Of course, if he impresses then there will also be the possibility for him to secure a Prem move in the future, too.

Meanwhile, a reliable source has named a senior Chelsea player who is ‘likely to leave’ in the near future.

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