Premier League • England

Diego Simeone adds fuel to Arsenal fire as Joao Felix rumours continue to gather pace

Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid, September 2022

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has added fuel to the Joao Felix to Arsenal rumours after refusing to rule out a January transfer for the 23-year-old. 

The Portugal international performed admirably at the World Cup, which has only increased interest in the highly-rated forward.

It is believed Felix has been trying to force a move away from Atletico for some time, with a host of European clubs queueing up for his signature. Any deal, however, would be an expensive one.

Earlieron Wednesday, Simeone publicly conceded that Felix may indeed move on from the Spanish club in the upcoming January window.

In a press conference, he said: “No one is indispensable and things will be as they have to be. It is very important for us.

“He has had a good World Cup, he participated in goals with the importance that the coach gave him… Hopefully, we can have the best Joao who saw himself in the World Cup.

“Hopefully we also give him that peace of mind and joy to show in the game all that was seen in the World Cup.”

The stunning revelation from the manager comes only a week after Atletico chairman confirmed Felix’s wishes to leave the club, stating: “The player’s idea right now is not to continue.”

Bombshell comments are a big boost for Arsenal

Felix has been a key figure for the Rojiblancos for the last few seasons, after being signed for a club-record fee of £111m in 2019.

However, despite some moments of brilliance, the Portuguese player has never really lived up to his hefty price tag at the Metropolitano.

In 129 appearances across all competitions for Atletico, Felix has scored 33 goals and has contributed 18 assists, too.

While this is a decent return, for a club-record signing you’d be expecting him to be challenging for the LaLiga Golden Boot every year, something which has never really come to fruition.

In the past, part of the blame has been put on Simeone, who has employed a rigid defensive system at Atletico throughout his managerial reign.

While this has been effective for the club as a whole, it has never been the right way to get the most out of Felix’s ability.

Although, this is undoubtedly fantastic news for Mikel Arteta, who, on the other hand, seems to believe Felix could contribute a lot more to Arsenal.

As reported by TEAMtalk, Arsenal are already in talks over a deal for the attacker with his agent, making them the big favourites to sign him in the upcoming window.

The Gunners are in dire need of goal-scoring reinforcements after Gabriel Jesus picked up an injury in Qatar, which could rule the former Manchester City player out for up to three months.

As a result, Felix could be exactly the kind of player Arteta needs at the moment.

However, any winter deal for Felix would command a huge transfer fee, with Atletico reportedly demanding a sum in excess of £87m.

Saying that, if signing Felix would be enough for Arsenal to maintain their push for their first Premier League title since 2004, it would certainly be a price worth paying.

READ MORE: Dusan Vlahovic latest: Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal on alert as agent gives update on potential deal