A recent report from Diario AS has offered an update on the future of Joao Felix. The Atletico Madrid attacker has fallen out of favour under Diego Simeone this season and is reportedly eyeing a move away from the January transfer window.
Felix has earned only five starts in the league so far, falling behind the likes of Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann in the pecking order. The lack of game time has left Felix worried and frustrated, with the attacker even consulting a psychologist to help him get through this tough time.
The Portuguese international, therefore, is determined to leave Atletico Madrid in the near future. His current situation at Atleti has not gone unnoticed either, with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and an English club, possibly Manchester United, among the teams interested in his services.
As per the report, PSG are already in talks with Felix’s representatives. The French giants are considering the possibility of signing the attacker in the upcoming January transfer window, as part of their plans to shore up their offensive unit.
Atletico Madrid, for their part, have refused to sanction any sale for Felix. They were approached several times with a sale in the summer by both PSG and Bayern, while Manchester United had even considered paying €130 million.
Atleti, though, had no intention to sell their prized attacking asset, holding out for the player’s hefty release clause worth €350 million. However, a lot has happened since and it is believed that Felix’s relationship with the club is not particularly healthy at the moment.
Therefore, a move away from the Civitas Metropolitano cannot be ruled out in the near future, especially with PSG and Bayern refusing to back down from the pursuit.
The upcoming FIFA World Cup could hold the key to how Felix’s situation pans out. A good tournament in Qatar could help him force his way back into the Atletico Madrid setup or give the club an upper hand in terms of negotiating his transfer in January.
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.