Simeone hails Joao Felix impact amid Bayern Munich transfer speculation

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone hailed Joao Felix for his impact in Saturday's 3-2 loss to Cadiz amid reports about transfer interest in the Portuguese forward.

Atleti, who were eliminated from the Champions League after a 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday, conceded within the first minute against Cadiz and trailed 2-0 in the dying moments before 60th-minute substitute Joao Felix led a late rally.

The 22-year-old's 85th-minute over-head kick was deflected in by Luis Hernandez, before the Portuguese equalised with a rifled shot in the 89th minute. The goals were his first since April.

Joao Felix spurned a late header which Atleti would lament as Ruben Sobrino bundled the ball in from close range for a 98th-minute winner for Cadiz.

Despite the defeat, Simeone hailed Joao Felix for his impact, coming fresh from a Marca report that claimed Atletico rejected a €100 million offer for the Portuguese from Bayern Munich in the off-season.

"Joao came in to do what he knows how to do, he did it very well," Simeone told DAZN.

"He scored a lucky goal but with the initiative to generate danger, he was the most dangerous of the forwards that were in the short time he entered.

"He scored a great goal, the second is a great goal. Hopefully he can keep that because in reality that is the player we all want."

Joao Felix, who has also been linked with a January transfer, has made 11 appearances in LaLiga this season, with five starts.

The defeat ended a tough week for Simeone, given their Champions League exit, with Club Brugge and Porto progressing in Group B. Atletico went behind in the first minute after Theo Bongonda's early strike which Simeone lamented.

"It was difficult at the start, after the blow the other day it was another blow," Simeone said. "After that we played a good first half, we had chances, we didn't take them.

"In the second half we went further behind at 2-0. Then the changes were important, Pablo Barrios coming on for his debut, Joao came on and played like we need him to play, Griezmann came on and gave us more calm in attack.

"We got into the game at 2-1, then the great goal from Joao for 2-2. We're in a moment when things aren't going our way."