Joao Felix future in doubt after report suggests he isn't welcome back at Atletico Madrid
Atletico believed paying Benfica 127 million euros for Felix in July 2019 would be sound business. The Portuguese forward was the club's biggest investment, someone who would help Atletico go far.
Simeone used Joao Felix when the player was giving him what he wanted, but Felix grew frustrated by how willing the Atleti coach was to bench him as soon as his form dipped even slightly.
During the 134 games that he was available for the team, he scored 33 times. His biggest contributions came in the first three months of the season Atletico became champions in 2020-21. However, since then, things have not gone smoothly.
In mid-September 2022, Atletico lost the Madrid derby at home making the La Liga title an impossibility even at that early stage of the season.
Felix stopped being a regular in the line-up, having started in seven of the first eight games of the season. Soon afterward, he asked both his agent and Gil Marin to leave in January and joined Chelsea on loan.
With no buyout clause in the loan agreement, the 23-year-old forward could well end up back in Madrid but there seems little appetite to see that come to pass in the Spanish capital.
According to journalist Miguel Martin Talavera in an interview with AS TV, there is a complete lack of relations between the staff at Los Colchoneros and the Portuguese star.
"What is clear is that Joao Felix is going one way, and Atletico Madrid are going the other," said Talavera.
"Atletico are a block and there are no sour faces. There are frustrated players but they do not let that into the public sphere. There is no continual controversy when a player comes off in the 70th minute, or if they stay on the bench."
"More than that, everything is focused on a stand-off between Joao Felix and Diego Pablo Simeone," Talavera added.
"Right now, Joao Felix is still in contact with two players at Atletico Madrid. After four years, Reinildo, who arrived just over a year ago, and Sergio Reguilon are the ones who he is closest with. With the rest, there is nothing, no friendship."
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