News From Spain: Manchester United begin loan negotiations for Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix

Manchester United appear to be the first club to make a decisive step forward in recruiting Joao Felix, as Chelsea and Arsenal compete for the Atletico Madrid forward’s signature.

Felix is keen to move on from Atletico Madrid, having failed to find his groove with Diego Simeone. That much was admitted by CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin, although it is thought that there is no rush for him to leave. Felix started and scored in Los Colchoneros’ return to action last week, and Atleti’s high demands make a permanent deal unlikely.

Given the numbers involved, with any fee likely to be in excess of €100m, only Paris Saint-Germain, perhaps Bayern Munich and Premier League sides are in a position to purchase him. Arsenal believe they have an advantage over Chelsea and United.

However the Red Devils have begun discussing numbers, with Relevo saying that they are willing to pay €4m for a loan deal until the end of the season. Atletico’s asking price for just six months of his services lies around €12-13m.

The two clubs are a long way apart on the numbers, but it does show a willingness to make a deal happen from United that neither Chelsea nor Arsenal have yet exhibited. On his day, Felix can be a differential factor in any game in the world. There is no certainty on just how regularly that level can be achieved though.