Wednesday, April 24News That Matters

Joao Felix ready to accept offer to join Arsenal or Man Utd

Joao Felix will accept a loan move away from Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window with Arsenal and Manchester United leading the race for his signature.

The Portuguese star is set to leave the Spanish club next month after failing to force his way into Diego Simeone’s team. The 23-year-old cost €126m (£108m) when he joined from Benfica summer of 2019 but has struggled to adapt to the manager’s style & philosophy.

Atletico are now prepared to cut their losses and have lowered their asking price, with a package worth €100m (£86m) enough to secure a deal.

But with clubs unlikely to spend big in January, Atletico are ready to accept loan offers with no obligation to sign permanently – asking for a loan fee of £8m and for 100 per cent of Felix’s wages to be paid.

According to AS report, Felix is ready to leave next month but has not ruled out the possibility of staying at Atletico beyond the summer with his long-term future at the club hinging on that of Simeone.

The report adds that should the Argentine coach stay on at the Wanda Metropolitano next campaign, Felix will leave the club permanently.

The Red Devils and Arsenal remain the ‘best placed’ teams to sign the former Benfica star with a forward a priority for both sides in the coming weeks.

Erik ten Hag is eager to boost United’s attacking options after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit. The club are also reported to be interested in signing Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven who the Dutch club are valuing at €50m.

Arsenal are also looking for another option with Gabriel Jesus expected to be out until March after undergoing surgery to address a knee injury.

While the London club are looking to made additions to the squad in January, Arteta has suggested he could move Martinelli in a centre forward role, naming Smith Rowe as another possible option.

‘It’s a huge blow for us, obviously,’ said Arteta of Jesus’ injury. ‘He’s such an important player: he’s brought something very different to the team and it’s impossible to replace him. But we have other players, other alternatives and we’ll try to get that sorted. The transfer window is another option.

‘I think [Jesus] is a unique player but Eddie [Nketiah] has incredible qualities as well for the way we want to play. We have other alternatives in that we can play Martinelli up front as well.

‘We are currently a little bit short in terms of upfront positions but getting Emile [Smith Rowe] back is going to be a big one.’

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