Following Armando Broja’s season-ending injury in a recent friendly match, Chelsea are set to enter the transfer market in January in search of a new forward.
And according to the Evening Standard’s Nizaar Kinsella, the Blues have been offered the chance to sign Atletico Madrid duo Joao Felix and Matheus Cunha.
Both Felix and Cunha are staring at uncertain futures at the Civitas Metropolitano heading into the January transfer window.
In Felix’s case, an exit is pretty much a given, with Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin confirming as much in a recent interview. The Portuguese forward is attracting serious interest from several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal who were said to be leading the race.
However, the 23-year-old has been offered to Chelsea. The report indicates that Felix’s option had arrived on the Blues’ table before Broja’s injury and that they can sign him for a fee of around £86 million.
The Portuguese ace’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has a good relationship with Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly. But signing him would be an expensive proposition while a loan deal would also involve the Blues paying a significant fee and including a permanent purchase clause.
However, Manchester United are also said to be in the running for Felix and could match any offer that comes in for Felix, who has had a falling out with manager Diego Simeone and looks certain to leave.
As for Cunha, he too has emerged as an option for Chelsea, with fellow Premier League clubs Wolves and Leeds United fearing that the Blues could torpedo their attempts to sign the Brazilian striker in January.
The Premier League giants are also looking at other possible options such as Barcelona’s Memphis Depay and Youssoufa Moukoko of Borussia Dortmund.
So, it remains to be seen if they decide to take a punt on either of the Atletico Madrid forwards that have been offered to him or decide to bring in a different player.
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.