Chelsea have blown Manchester United and Arsenal out of the water by meeting Atletico Madrid’s demands to sign Joao Felix on loan this month. The Blues are pressing forward with plans to recruit Felix until the end of the season with an option to keep him at Stamford Bridge permanently.
United and Arsenal were considered frontrunners for the 23-year-old forward, widely tipped to arrive in England in the January transfer window. But it’s Chelsea who now reportedly sit in pole position after swooping in to steal a march on their Premier League rivals.
According to the Daily Record, Chelsea have informed Atleti that they are ready to meet their £9.7million loan fee asking price, as well as covering Felix’s full salary. The Blues also want to include an option to buy Felix at the end of the season to rescue him from the Spanish capital, where his relationship with manager Diego Simeone has disintegrated.
The report adds that Felix is keen to join Chelsea before the winter deadline and has even told his team-mates that he is Premier League-bound.
Atletico signed Felix from Benfica for around £110m in the summer of 2019, a club-record fee that made him one of the most expensive players in world football.
But he has underwhelmed at the Wanda Metropolitano, struggling to adapt to Simeone’s tactical approach.
Chelsea looked primed to get one over on Arsenal with the Portugal international and could do it again later this month after entering the frame for Mykhailo Mudryk.
Todd Boehly is willing to outbid the Gunners and financially back Graham Potter to turn the club’s fortunes around in the second half of a dismal season so far.