Joao Felix has not had the career that he was expecting to have as a Benfica academy product and Atletico Madrid star who made his La Liga debut at only 19 years old. Now, at 23 years old, the player has the opportunity to decide where he plays next.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano posted an update on the contest to attain the Portuguese man’s services. Saudi club Al Hilal have entered the fray; preparing to offer a one-year loan, pending the Spanish club’s response to an expected bid. One thing is certain according to the Italian and that is “he will NOT stay at Atleti”.
Joao Felix Wants to Leave Atletico Madrid
Al Hilal approached João Félix 🚨🇸🇦
Saudi side prepared to offer even 1 year loan; player decides.
Understand Jorge Jesus called João several times.
Player’s priority remains Barcelona and Europe.
…but Al Hilal becomes option as one thing is sure: he will NOT stay at Atléti. pic.twitter.com/Q3dQaZnbY2
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 6, 2023
Al Hilal Offering More than Just Money
Aside from a much-desired reprise from his stay in Madrid, the Saudi club are coached by Portuguese Jorge Jesus, the former coach of Felix at Benfica. Romano’s report even revealed that Jesus had called the forward several times already, presumably to convince him to join him in the Saudi Pro League.
Familiarity, plus an opportunity to leave his current club might be too good for the 23-year-old to say no to. Currently, the player who can be fielded as a winger, forward, and attacking midfielder is under contract with Atletico until 2027, and spent the second half of last season on loan at Chelsea.
Felix Prefers European Stay
With plenty of time left to recover from his failure to live up to huge expectations, Felix wants a transfer to another European club before a move away from the continent. A potential suitor could be found much closer than Saudi Arabia.
Last month a move to Barcelona looked to be all setup, but it was not completed. The forward still wants a move to Barcelona and values the European football they can offer him. A former UEFA Nations League winner with Portugal, the young player wants another big trophy.
Too Many Expectations to Shake off
During his time with the Colchoneros, a club that has made several UEFA Champions League finals but never won one, his performances always seemed to mirror that of the club itself. Constantly overshadowed by their larger neighbours Real Madrid, Atletico failed to clinch a title with Felix.
With constant pressure weighing down on him, the Portugal man’s time in La Liga has been so fraught with demands for his performances to be on the level of the best of Europe’s stars that his loan to Chelsea, much like a potential permanent move, was a relief for him. Maybe at his next home, he can live up to the £108 million price tag paid for him.