UK: 18+ USA: 21+ | Begambleaware.org | T&Cs apply | Play Responsibly
Chelsea have completed the deal to sign João Felix from Atletico Madrid on a six-month loan deal for £9.7m. The Portuguese forward is in London for a medical and is in contention to play against Fulham Thursday night.
Felix signed for Atletico Madrid in 2019 for £113 million but has failed to ever consistently perform at an elite level. He has also endured a difficult relationship with Atletico boss, Diego Simeone, meaning the loan deal makes sense for all parties.
Interestingly, Atletico Madrid have said that Felix has agreed to extend his contract until 2027 suggesting that his long-term future remains in the Spanish capital regardless of how the next few months in London pan out. This has also sparked speculation that Diego Simeone is set to leave the club in the summer.
For Chelsea, getting an elite-level forward through the door was a matter of necessity. Graham Potter will care very little about the prospect of the ex-Benfica man staying beyond the summer at this moment in time and will just be focusing on getting him into the starting lineup as quickly as possible with injury problems continuing to grow at Stamford Bridge.
A player that can make the difference
Potter, who has been backed by the club’s hierarchy in recent days, will be delighted that the club have managed to get the deal over the line. There was also interest from Manchester United and Arsenal but neither club were prepared to pay the fees demanded by Atletico Madrid without an option to buy being included in the deal.
With Christian Pulisic ruled out for two months, and Raheem Sterling also on the treatment table, Potter is understandably delighted with the transfer. He said:
“He’s a quality player that brings everyone a lift. He can make a difference in the final third. He is young but has a lot of really good experience. We were aware of his availability for a while but the injuries have maybe sharpened the focus of the club.
It is nice to get him here and training today. We will see him for the game on Thursday. From a physical perspective, he can go in but it’s always a little bit of an unknown period as he is going from one club to another, but that’s on a case-to-case basis.”
If he is cleared to play on Thursday night then it may mean another game out of the starting lineup for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is seemingly out of favour with Potter. There are rumours beginning to circulate that the ex-Arsenal man could be on his way back to Spain this January.
A proud day for Felix
Joao Felix is seemingly bursting with pride over the move to the London giants. Despite currently sitting in tenth position in the Premier League table, Felix is chomping at the bit to get started. He told the official club website:
“Chelsea is one of the great teams in the world and I hope to help the team reach their objectives, so I am very, very happy to be here and very excited to play at Stamford Bridge.”