Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at loggerheads over Joao Felix future

Joao Felix of FC Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between FC Barcelona and SSC Napoli at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys on March 12, 2024 in Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have made no progress regarding the future of Joao Felix this summer, as another summer of uncertainty approaches for the Portuguese. With Atletico Madrid desperate to move him on last summer, Felix held out for a loan move to Barcelona, and it looks as if his parent club will try to move him on once again.

Felix, 24, has failed to impress at Barcelona save for the odd game, and has lost his starting spot under Xavi Hernandez, who has preferred to either go with Ferran Torres, Raphinha or a fourth midfielder in recent months. As per Sport, the Blaugrana are only willing to consider him for next season as a low-cost option. This would mean another loan move with a reduced salary and an option to buy.

The Portuguese is keen to continue himself, but Atletico will hope to stand in the way of a deal. They would prefer the deal to involve an obligation to buy which is inexcess of €50m, and will do what they can to force a permanent transfer.

Intermediary Jorge Mendes is the one who will be required to find a middle ground between the two, and he is trying to look for an exit in Saudi Arabia, but that would require a green light from Felix, as of yet not forthcoming. The two clubs will likely speak about the matter before the game between the two tomorrow.

Barcelona have little desire to get too deep into conversations – their stance is clear. Either he returns on their conditions, or not at all. Atletico are aware that they have no other suitors currently, and would face an uncomfortable situation were he to return.

It looks to be heading in a similar direction to last season, when Barcelona held on until the last minute in order to force Atletico’s hand, eventually forcing a deal over the line in the final 48 hours of the market. Nevertheless, there will also be a new Barcelona manager in the mix, who will no doubt have their own opinions on Felix too.

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