João Félix has made it clear: he only wants Barcelona. Although he signed a contract renewal at Atlético Madrid until 2029 before he arrived at Barcelona, the 24-year-old has no plans to continue his career at Atlético, especially under manager Diego Simeone.
The Barcelona hierarchy is equally hopeful of turning the forward’s loan spell into a permanent deal, and according to Mundo Deportivo, the club are already planning a deal that will allow them to sign the Portuguese international at a much-reduced price. Atlético have already slapped an €80m price tag on the player, a fee that Barcelona simply cannot afford, and the club is being forced to look at ways to dramatically reduce the fee.
One important element in a potential transfer comes in the form of Félix’s agent, Jorge Mendes. Mendes knows the intentions of Barcelona, and it is hoped that he will act in the Catalan side’s favour and force through a move. Like Antoine Griezmann two years ago, Félix only wants one club and will do everything he can to force a move, which will put Barcelona in a very favourable when negotiations take place. This will ultimately mean that Barcelona will only negotiate within their budget (thought to be between €30m and €40m, less than half of what Atlético are demanding). Should Barcelona not be able to bring the price down as much as they want, they would also be open to loaning Félix for a second year to further test Atlético’s resolve.
In summary, Barcelona know that the current situation is very favourable. Simeone and his former team-mates do not want him back at the Madrid-based club, and Félix is willing to bide his time and force through an eventual move.
GSFN | Finn Entwistle