Reporter claims Man Utd ‘can’t afford’ £19m for signing with Arsenal ready to swoop

Man Utd target Joao Felix celebrates scoring Credit: Alamy
Man Utd target Joao Felix celebrates scoring Credit: Alamy

Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth claims Man Utd “can’t afford” the £19m needed to sign Joao Felix on loan until the end of the season.

The Portugal international has instructed his agent, Jorge Mendes, to find him a move in the January transfer market with Atletico Madrid also keen to see him moved off their wage bill for six months.

Felix is currently out of favour with manager Diego Simeone with the 23-year-old starting just six La Liga matches this term.

A number of clubs have been linked with Felix in the Premier League, including Man Utd and Arsenal, as he could be an interest stop-gap for their issues in attack.

Man Utd could do with another striker after Cristiano Ronaldo left the club in November with Marcus Rashford and injury-prone Anthony Martial their only two recognisable strikers.

Felix appeals to Arsenal, who are top of the Premier League, with Mikel Arteta hoping an injury to Gabriel Jesus doesn’t derail their bid for the title.

The Glazers are looking to sell Man Utd as soon as possible with some reports claiming the Red Devils will only be able to do loans in the January market.

But Sky Sports‘ Sheth claims that Man Utd wouldn’t be able to stretch to £19m in fees and wages – which is a lot of money for a six-month loan – to bring Felix to Old Trafford this month.

Sheth told the Stretford Paddock: “I think he is one of the players that they looked at. There was also talk of Eric Choupo-Moting as well but, with regards to Moting I was told it was agent-driven as it stands. That was agent-driven even if he only has six months left on his contract.

“The Joao Felix one is an interesting one because this is being driven by Atletico Madrid it seems and the agent. Now in principle it would fit for United because Atletico Madrid only want to do a loan.

“You can see why they’d want to do that. He’s got a contract until 2026. Just say Atletico Madrid decided to sell or even put an optional price of Joao Felix now, when everybody knows they want to get him out of the club, that would only drive his price down.

“So I think Atletico Madrid want to take a calculated gamble here. Take him away from the club for six months, see if he performs really, really well and if he does he comes back to Atletico Madrid with three years left on his contract and his market value remains quite high. Probably more than it is just now.

“The only issue for United, with regard to Joao Felix, and why they aren’t going to go for him is simply because they can’t afford the price that Atletico Madrid would be wanting for a six-month loan.

“I’m being told it’s around £19m including wages. £19m for six months? It doesn’t make sense for United as far as they’re concerned. They would be interested in a player like Joao Felix but not at the terms quoted.

“So, yes there was an interest in him, I’m sure it’s just in the background a little bit. The information I’m getting from sources in Portugal is that Arsenal are really pursuing the Joao Felix deal. They are trying to get Felix and Mykhailo Mudryk as well.”

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