Fresh insights from Spain shed light on Manchester United’s decision not to seize the opportunity to onboard Joao Felix over the summer.
Having had a loan spell at Chelsea in the latter half of the preceding season, the Portuguese sensation displayed moments of magic but didn’t consistently match expectations. Despite suiting up for the Blues 20 times and finding the net on four occasions, Chelsea’s then-boss Mauricio Pochettino was not compelled to secure Felix for the long term.
Though Felix now proudly dons the Barcelona jersey for the ongoing season, his agent was keen to land him another Premier League deal before that came to fruition.
United and Manchester City were approached with the prospect of signing Felix. Aston Villa too had reached the closing stages of negotiations to enlist the forward, but the deal fell apart.
Sources from AS, have indicated that both Manchester United and Manchester City were hesitant to ink a deal with Felix, pinpointing his “bad experience at Chelsea” as a deterrent.
The young forward’s brief tenure at Stamford Bridge, marked by only four goals, dimmed the allure of his once-meteoric reputation. His representative, Jorge Mendes, approached the English giants to discuss potential moves, but they were wary due to the Chelsea stint.
On the other hand, Atletico Madrid seemed willing to let Felix go, a decision influenced by a strained relationship between the player and Atletico’s head coach, Diego Simeone. This facilitated Felix’s transition to Barcelona, even though they share a competitive rivalry with Atletico in LaLiga.
The Spanish capital’s team has aspirations that Felix will rediscover his magic touch this season. If that happens, they aim to market him next summer for a price hovering around €80m (approximately £69.3m).
The early signs are promising, with Felix having marked his Barcelona chapter with three goals and a pair of assists in just seven appearances.