Joao Felix will accept loan offer to join Arsenal or Manchester United but remains open to long-term Atletico stay


    Joao Felix
    Felix is expected to leave in January (Picture: Getty)

    Joao Felix will accept a loan move away from Atletico Madrid in January with Arsenal and Manchester United leading the race for his signature.

    The Portugal international is set to leave the Spanish giants next month after failing to force his way into Diego Simeone’s side. The 23-year-old forward cost €126million (£108m) when he joined from Benfica summer of 2019 but has struggled to adapt to the manager’s style and philosophy.

    Atletico are now prepared to cut their losses and have lowered their asking price, with a total package worth €100m (£86m) enough to secure a deal.

    But with clubs unlikely to spend big in January, Atletico are now ready to accept loan offers with no obligation to buy – asking for a loan fee of £8million and for 100 per cent of Felix’s wages to be paid.

    AS report Felix is ready to leave next month but has not ruled out the possibility of remaining at Atletico beyond the summer with his long-term future at the club hinging on that of Simeone.

    The report adds that should the Argentine stay on at the Wanda Metropolitano next season, Felix will leave the club permanently.

    United and Arsenal remain the ‘best placed’ clubs to sign the former Benfica starlet with a forward a priority for both sides in the coming weeks.

    Joao Felix
    Felix frustrated under Simeone (Picture: Getty)

    Erik ten Hag is eager to boost United’s attacking options following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. The club are also thought to be interested in signing Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven who the Dutch side are valuing at €50m.

    Arsenal are also looking for another option with Gabriel Jesus expected to be sidelined until March after undergoing surgery to address a knee injury.

    While the Gunners are looking to made additions to the squad in January, Mikel Arteta has suggested he could move Martinelli in a centre forward role, naming Smith Rowe as another possible option.

    ‘It’s a huge blow for us, obviously,’ said Arteta of Jesus’ injury.

    ‘He’s such an important player: he’s brought something very different to the team and it’s impossible to replace him. But we have other players, other alternatives and we’ll try to get that sorted. The transfer window is another option.

    ‘I think [Jesus] is a unique player but Eddie [Nketiah] has incredible qualities as well for the way we want to play. We have other alternatives in that we can play Martinelli up front as well.

    ‘We are currently a little bit short in terms of upfront positions but getting Emile [Smith Rowe] back is going to be a big one.’

    MORE : Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd urged to complete ‘risk-free’ signing by Graeme Souness

    MORE : Chelsea and Manchester United target Rafael Leao confirms transfer decision and hails Arsenal

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