Atleti chief warns Chelsea off star as Griezmann admission is made

Date published: Wednesday 19th May 2021 1:01 - James Marshment

Antoine Griezmann, Barcelona away shirt

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has warned Chelsea and Manchester City to forget any hopes they may have had of luring Joao Felix to the Premier League this summer.

The Portuguese forward is regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the world game. His rise looks set to be rewarded with Atletico on the brink of winning LaLiga. Their final game takes them to Valladolid and a win will guarantee Diego Simeone’s side the title.

However, they go into the game with something of a shadow lurking over them. That’s after it was claimed in the Spanish media that Joao Felix has fallen out with Simeone and will ask to leave this summer.

As a result, Felix – a €126m signing in summer 2019 – has been linked with moves to Chelsea and City. The Champions League finalists are both looking to strengthen their attacks this summer. City are seeking a replacement for the long-serving Sergio Aguero; Chelsea, meanwhile, need an upgrade on the misfiring Timo Werner.

However, despite Felix being yet to hit top gear fro Atletico, Cerezo is in no doubts over the player’s future.

“There’s no option for him to leave,” he told El Larguero, via Marca. “He has to adapt. The day he takes off will be one of the most important in the world of football.

“Players aren’t machines, they have good and bad days. He’ll give many afternoons of glory to this club.”


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Cerezo open to Griezmann return

Reports in Spain have also cited the possibility of Felix joining Barcelona in a swap deal for Antoine Griezmann.

Felix was brought in as Griezmann’s replacement at Atletico when the World Cup winner moved to the Nou Camp.

And while Cerezo has no intention of organising a swap, he is open to the possibility of Griezmann’s return to the Wanda Metropolitano.

“Any team would be crazy about having Griezmann,” he said. “He’s a magnificent player and I hope to get him back, but I don’t think Barcelona want to sell him. He’s had magnificent seasons here and was built at Atletico.”

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