Spanish side Atletico Madrid are ready to make their first signing of the offseason and is going to be a huge one; according to reports Los Rojiblancos will put their hands on one of the most interesting and promising players in European football, Benfica wonderkid Joao Felix.
Felix is set to be announced as a new Atletico Madrid player on Wednesday, after completing a five-year deal for the prodigy during Tuesday's negotiations. The Portuguese starlet will replace outgoing Antoine Griezmann, who is set to join Barcelona this summer after revealing his desire to leave Atleti, with the team’s CEO Gil Marin confirming it last week.
According to AS, Atletico wants to finish the deal before Griezmann leaves, after agreeing to a five-year contract with the player on Tuesday, while adding that the negotiation period began at Wanda Metropolitano on 1st June, the day of the Champions League final.
Benfica were still pressing for the full €120m required to trigger his release clause, but the Spanish outfit was attempting to pay a little less than that. However, we still have to wait to see the full details of the transfer, as the move is expected to be officially announced on Wednesday. Even though the transfer fee remains as the only obstacle to make this deal a reality, Atleti are not willing to pay the full sum to get the striker, with Benfica resigned to losing Felix.
Atletico’s boss, Diego Simeone declared on Joao: “He is one of the options. Historically, Atlético Madrid buy players to develop them, like Oblak, Giménez, Griezmann… We want a talented guy who can absorb our ideas.
"There are a lot of guys leaving and it's a difficult time of transition for the team. But we have a challenge. Top people are leaving, but the goal is to continue competing. The rebuild already started last year, but it is true that it is one of the most difficult projects since I arrived.”
With the arrival of Felix to replace Griezmann, now the Colchoneros can focus their attention to sign a replacement for outbound Rodri, and Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente is seen as the best option for the team. Nevertheless, Los Blancos are asking for a fee of around €50 million, but Atletico again are attempting to land Llorente for a cheaper price.