Joao Felix ‘doesn’t want to move from Madrid to Birmingham’ and prefers a transfer to a team ‘of more substance and history’ than Aston Villa, reports in Spain claim, as Arsenal lead the fight to sign Atletico’s star forward
- Felix looks increasingly likely to leave Atletico Madrid and possibly next month
- Arsenal are reportedly ahead of Chelsea and Man United in the pursuit of him
- His agent Jorge Mendes wanted Portugal star to join Aston Villa instead
- But Marca report that Felix isn’t keen on a move to Birmingham to join Villa
- 23-year-old reportedly wants to join a club ‘of more substance and history’
Joao Felix ‘isn’t keen on a move to Birmingham’ despite his agent Jorge Mendes ‘pushing for him’ to join Aston Villa.
There is considerable interest in the Atletico Madrid and Portugal forward from Premier League clubs, with Arsenal reportedly leading the chase ahead of Chelsea and Manchester United.
But reports had suggested that Mendes is keen for Felix, 23, to swap Madrid for Birmingham and sign for Villa, where Unai Emery is hoping to build the club back up into a force.
Joao Felix is attracting interest from a host of Premier League clubs with it looking increasingly likely he will leave Atletico Madrid next year
Aston Villa are among the interested clubs but reports say Felix doesn’t want to move from Madrid to Birmingham and join them. Pictured is the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham
However, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, Felix isn’t enticed by the prospect of moving to Birmingham or Villa, as he prefers ‘a club with more substance and history.’
Mendes has a strong relationship with Villa’s owners, the NSWE Group run by billionaires Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.
They are prepared to back Emery with transfer funds in next year’s transfer windows to push for European football at Villa Park.
Arsenal, who have emerged as Premier League title contenders this season, are reportedly leading the way in the pursuit of Felix, after Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil admitted last week he wants to leave them.
Unai Emery is attempting to turn Villa into a Premier League force and will be backed with cash
Jorge Mendes is reportedly pushing for the Portuguese international to join Aston Villa
Average temperature: 13.4C (56.1F)
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Number of days with rain a year: 115
Number of days with snow: 24
Main tourist attractions: Bullring shopping centre, Cadbury World, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Botanical gardens, National Sea Life Centre
Local delicacies: Balti curry, pork faggots, Pikelets
Average temperature: 15C (59F)
Average summer temperature: 32.1C (89.8F)
Number of days with rain a year: 59
Number of days with snow: 3
Main tourist attractions: Museo Nacional del Prado, Plaza Mayor, Royal Palace, Bernabeu tour, Buen Retiro Park
Local delicacies: Paella, Cocido madrileno (pork stew), huevos rotos, bocadillo de Calamares (fried squid sandwich), churros
Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in Felix, who has returned from the World Cup following Portugal’s shock elimination to Morocco in the quarter-finals.
Gil’s comments hint that Atletico could welcome offers for Felix – whom they bought from Benfica for £114million in 2019 – during January.
Given Felix has a contract at Atletico until 2026, it will take a considerable sum to prise him away and some Premier League sides believe a loan could be more realistic.
The forward was one of his nation’s star performers in Qatar before they were knocked out in a shock defeat to Morocco in the quarter-finals.
Felix has fallen out of favour at Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone so far this season
Felix has been unsettled in Spain for some time and Sportsmail reported that the chances of agent Mendes moving him on in January are considerable.
Speaking on his way to Dubai for La Liga’s Assembly, Gil told Spanish television TVE: ‘He is the biggest investment the club has ever made and I think he is at the highest level in the world in terms of talent.
‘I would love him to continue, but that is not the player’s idea.’
Felix has fallen out of favour in Madrid and has chalked up just nine starts in all competitions this campaign, scoring four goals and assisting three.