Joao Felix scores sensational goal for Atletico Madrid
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Atletico Madrid would have put ‘some thought’ into Manchester United’s offer for Joao Felix had it been around the £212million mark, according to reports. The Red Devils are huge admirers of the Portugal international, who scored eight goals and registered four assists from 24 La Liga matches last term. And it’s unclear if Erik ten Hag’s side will launch a second bid for the 22-year-old.
Manchester United want to sign a new forward before the transfer window slams shut.
Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to stay but the Red Devils know they can’t rely on the 37-year-old forever, while Edinson Cavani has already departed and Mason Greenwood remains unavailable for selection.
Earlier in the week, it emerged United had launched a huge bid for Felix – with Goal confirming they tried with a £110m approach.
And it’s claimed Atletico Madrid would have put ‘some thought’ into the offer had it been around the £212m mark instead, though potential suitors will likely have to pay the entirety of his £297m release clause.
It’s said the La Liga giants were never going to accept such a low offer.
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And though United have downplayed suggestions they’re after Felix, he’s a player who would likely thrive in Ten Hag’s attacking system.
Atletico know that, if they offloaded their prized asset, they’d risk angering their own supporters – especially given how the new La Liga season has already commenced.
And they also feel United aren’t the attractive team they once were, which boosts their chances of keeping Felix for at least another 12 months.
The report adds that Atletico wouldn’t even pocket the whole fee for the 22-year-old, who registered three assists in his side’s 3-0 win over Getafe last weekend.
They still owe Benfica around £54m after signing Felix back in the summer transfer window of 2019.
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So a large chunk of United’s money would end up going to the Portuguese giants, rather than Atletico – which may explain why they’re so reluctant to head to the negotiating table.
Had the bid been accepted, Felix would have become the most-expensive signing in United’s history – dwarfing the £89m they paid for Paul Pogba in 2016.
And he’d also become the Premier League’s costliest star, too, with the fee eclipsing the £100m Manchester City paid Aston Villa for Jack Grealish last year.
Whether United go back in with another offer remains to be seen.
But they do appear to have a number of alternatives, despite a move for Felix’s Atletico team-mate Yannick Carrasco being ruled out.
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Antony is still on their radar, with Ten Hag eager to reunite with a forward who he previously managed during his time at Ajax.
Cody Gakpo has admirers at Old Trafford, having scored 12 goals and registered 12 assists for PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie last term.
And United have also been linked with Jamie Vardy and Danny Welbeck in recent weeks, though the duo have since penned new contracts with Leicester and Brighton respectively.
Speaking after the Red Devils lost 4-0 to Brentford last weekend, meanwhile, Ten Hag admitted his side needed strengthening.
“You have to be ready for a game and be ready for the battle as individuals and as a team,” he said.
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“We have to push each other and bring the demands in because it is not good.
“It is clear we need players, but I don’t want to think about that in this moment. The good players we had should have been better.
“I hoped for a better start, I have to believe because I have seen good things, but the two games from now are disappointing.
“We will analyse and we will move forward, but one thing is quite clear, we have to do things better.
“This team is good enough to beat Brighton and Brentford which we didn’t, so we have to question ourselves.”
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