According to journalist Miguel Martín Talavera, Jorge Mendes, the agent of Joao Felix, has informed Atletico Madrid that the forward will be leaving the club in the upcoming January transfer window.
Felix has failed to hit the heights expected of him since joining the Rojiblancos in the summer of 2019 in a deal worth €120 million.
Even though there have been signs of his unlimited potential, the 23-year-old has struggled to fit into Diego Simeone’s system. With his game-time taking a major hit this term and his relationship with the manager getting strained an exit seemed a strong possibility.
On top of that Atletico Madrid’s poor financial situation has only made his departure even more likely, with the Portuguese ace informing the Colchoneros that he will be leaving next month.
Heading into the mid-season trading period, there does not seem to be any shortage of suitors for Felix.
Indeed, the former SL Benfica ace is being courted by several top clubs like PSG, Chelsea and Manchester United, with the latter even having had a bid rejected for him in the summer window.
However, the type of exit operation is yet to be decided upon as the club that signs him will need to consider their Financial Fair Play situation, given that huge sums of money could likely be involved.
Hence, the report suggests that there is a possibility of Felix leaving Atletico on a loan deal until the end of the season, with a mandatory purchase option inserted into the agreement.
Along with Felix, fellow forward Matheus Cunha is also expected to leave Atletico Madrid in January, with an agreement with Wolves reportedly reached.
Los Colchoneros, for their part, have already begun their hunt for replacements which they will need to sign if they end up losing two forwards in the winter window.
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.
Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.
Llorente on Madrid derby
“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.
When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”
Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”
“Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.
A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.
Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.
“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.
Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham
The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.
“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.
Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.
“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.
Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”
Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.
“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.