Joao Felix hints at vital factor in decision on Chelsea future as he opens doors to permanent stay
Joao Felix has suggested that he wants to make his loan move to Chelsea permanent.
Having arrived in January on a six-month loan that is costing the Blues £11million, a new fee would need to be agreed to see the 23-year-old remain in west London beyond next season.
Despite his side’s poor run of form in front of goal, the Portugal international has quickly become a fan favourite. Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s cruical Champions League second leg against Borussia Dortmund, Felix delivered his thoughts on remaining at Stamford Bridge.
“In terms of if I want to stay or not? I think in the future, nobody knows,” he said. “I am just focused on tomorrow’s game.
“After that, we don’t know what will happen. Maybe I will be here. This league is amazing, everyone in the club is so good so maybe I could be here.”
He added, however, that with reaching next season’s Champions League becoming an increasingly remote prospect at Stamford Bridge, European football could be a factor in his decision.
Felix said: “Playing in the Champions League is always important.
“It is a competition that everyone wants to play. But now we have a lot of games to reach the Champions League through the league. It is not over. But yes, playing in the Champions League is important in the decision. But in the future? No one knows. Let’s see what happens.”
It leaves Chelsea ideally needing to overcome a 1-0 first-leg defeat in Dortmund to help them qualify for the Champions League by winning this year’s competition, with qualification through a top-four finish also seeming rather unlikely.
“I really want to win the game tomorrow,” he continued. “I love playing in the Champions League. It’s a special competition. I hope after 90 minutes we will be here celebrating.”
Felix arrived at Chelsea after a mixed spell and falling out with Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone following a club record £113m move from Benfica in 2019.
Atleti had been in poor form when they allowed Felix to leave but have since won five of their last six games, strengthening the chances of Simeone remaining in the Spanish capital past the summer.
Speaking about his struggles in the past, Felix believes Chelsea’s style of play suits him more.
“Yes, I think I needed this,” he added. “When I left Atletico, I told them it would be good for me and them. I tried to make the deal because I wanted to try something different. I always tried my best but sometimes it didn’t work. I had the chance to see if things would go differently.
“The league and team is different. Chelsea are a team who likes to attack and have the ball. That’s the game I like to play. I feel very free to play here as I like and, yes, I love it.”