Premier League • England

Chelsea beat Man Utd, Arsenal to Joao Felix agreement as full scale of Boehly masterstroke emerges

Portugal forward Joao Felix

Chelsea have struck a ‘verbal agreement’ to sign Arsenal and Man Utd target, Joao Felix, and the price they’re expected to pay suggests Todd Boehly and co. have worked wonders.

Atletico Madrid signed the Portugal international for a whopping £113m back in 2019. Felix had shown glimpses of justifying that colossal price tag at times, though just as he was about to enter his peak years, a rift with manager Diego Simeone formed.

The pair have been at loggerheads for several months and the end result was Atletico giving the green light to a January exit.

A six-month loan deal was always the likeliest outcome. However, the Athletic’s David Ornstein detailed Atletico’s sky-high demands that as yet, had dissuaded any suitors from biting.

It was claimed Atletico had quoted buying clubs a hefty package worth €21m (approx. £18.5m).

That equates to a loan fee of around £13.2m along with the cost of Felix’s wages – roughly £5.3m – for just six months.

Arsenal’s plan for Felix reportedly involved waiting until the final weeks of the window in the hopes Atletico would then drop their demands out of desperation.

That was a risky strategy, but one that seemed like it could succeed after Man Utd dropped out of the race.

However, a fresh update from the Athletic has revealed it’s Chelsea who have acted decisively and forged an agreement.

Chelsea reach verbal agreement to sign Joao Felix, as Atletico drop demands

The Blues are understood to have reached a verbal agreement with Atletico over a six-month loan switch.

Chelsea have reportedly negotiated Atletico down from a £13.2m loan fee to £9.68m – roughly a 30 percent discount.

A deal is not set in stone as yet with the agreement only a verbal one at present. However, the first step has been taken and the player is also on board with the move.

Fabrizio Romano added his take on the developments, tweeting the move is at an ‘advanced stage’.

The transfer guru also reported an option to buy hasn’t been discussed, meaning if Chelsea want to buy Felix outright after the loan concludes, they’ll have to start negotiations from scratch at that time.

David Ornstein tweeted Felix had options, i.e Man Utd and Arsenal, but the Chelsea project ‘appealed’. With Felix bound for the Blues, Arsenal’s attention will now focus solely on Mykhaylo Mudryk.

Graham Potter’s side have been woeful in front of goal this season, with their mark of 20 league goals scored the lowest in the top half by a margin of seven.

Ornstein added ‘more reinforcements’ are expected to arrive at Stamford Bridge this month, though Enzo Fernandez isn’t likely to be one of them.

READ MORE: Boehly botches record Chelsea deal for Enzo Fernandez with Liverpool, Man Utd both back in play