Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has insisted that Joao Felix remains important to them amid speculation linking the Portuguese youngster with a move away from the La Liga club.
A number of clubs have been linked with a move for Joao Felix – including Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal – who has not been a regular starter at Atletico Madrid this season.
The Portugal international has featured in 18 games for Atletico Madrid in the 22/23 season, but only nine of those have been as a starter. The rest were appearances off the bench.
Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Ángel Gil Marín recently admitted Joao Felix could leave the club. One of the reasons Gil Marin cited to suggest the two parties could part ways was the relationship between Diego Simeone and Joao Felix.
Read More: Premier League Trio Hold Talks With Atletico Madrid Over Loan Move For Felix
“He is important to the team” – Diego Simeone on Joao Felix amid transfer speculation
Diego Simeone has, however, played down suggestions of a rift between him and Joao Felix. The Atletico Madrid manager insisted that Joao Felix remains important to the club when speaking to the media on Wednesday.
“What matters to me is the team and he is important to the team. If he does for us what we saw in the World Cup, he will be very important. He has the talent and the team needs his qualities,” Diego Simeone said.
“Since I’ve been at the club, some differences exist between people and we can’t agree on everything, [but] I’ve looked for the best for the club until the last day, whether it’s me or the footballers. Everyone gives the maximum.”
Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea reportedly held talks with Atletico Madrid last week over a possible loan deal for Joao Felix. However, one stumbling block in any potential deal is Atletico Madrid’s desire to recoup as many as they can of the amount that they spent to sign Joao Felix, according to a report in 90min.
Atletico Madrid signed Felix from Benfica for a transfer fee of €126 million, which made the Portuguese attacker the most expensive signing in the history of the La Liga club.
90min reports that Atletico Madrid wants to include a permanent transfer clause worth around £100m in any loan deal for Felix. It has proven problematic for Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.