Why Man Utd chose not to sign Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix

Manchester United discussed the possibility of signing Portuguese star Joao Felix numerous times but reportedly chose not to sign him because of concerns over his lack of physicality.

The Portuguese attacker has quickly marked himself out as a star of the future, scoring 15 goals and laying on nine assists for Benfica last campaign before completing a move to Atletico Madrid.

He didn’t come cheap though, with the Spanish club forced to pay his £113million release clause – making him the fifth most expensive transfer ever, and second most expensive teenager in world football.

A host of European sides had been linked with Felix before he made the move to Madrid, including clubs like Bayern Munich, Atletico’s rivals Real and United.

According to The Athletic, Felix’s transfer move was discussed ‘many times’ by Old Trafford chiefs before his mega-money move to Atletico, but they had a few reservations about the 19-year-old forward.

The main concern was that Joao Felix lacked the physicality required to adapt with the pace and power of the Premier League.

There was also a feeling that he might not be able to replicate his electric Benfica form – he only has two goals and an assist in eight La Liga starts this campaign.

The last thing Manchester United wanted to do was break their transfer record for a player who was a one-season wonder and the club wanted more security that he could maintain a consistent level of brilliance.

Somewhat amusingly, there was also a feeling at Old Trafford that Alexis Sanchez could still come good, with the Chilean often performing well in training despite not doing it on the pitch.

In the end, both Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku were shipped off to Inter Milan leaving United short on options in attack, with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likely to try and bring in reinforcements when the January window opens.


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