Joao Felix, a promising talent in football, finds himself relegated to the sidelines as he struggles to secure playing time with Atletico Madrid.
Despite his departure from the club last season in search of a fresh start, the 23-year-old forward appears to be back at square one.
In the recent preseason, Felix was notably absent from the field, failing to make an appearance for Diego Simeone’s squad.
As the 2023/24 La Liga season commenced, he remained on the bench during the opening match, where Madrid secured a 3-1 victory.
Subsequently, against Real Betis, he was not even included in the lineup.
The upcoming clash against Rayo Vallecano also seems unlikely to feature him.
Last season, Felix embarked on a loan stint with Chelsea, a move that generated excitement for many while leaving others wanting more from the player who had commanded a staggering £111 million transfer fee by Atletico in 2019.
Over the course of four years, he has contributed only 38 goals to his various club teams, with even his impressive performance for Chelsea failing to alter his immediate fortunes.
The situation surrounding Felix is currently mired in uncertainty.
While he aspires to join Barcelona, the club’s financial struggles cast doubts on the feasibility of such a deal during this transfer window.
Despite this, all parties involved desire a resolution to the impasse.
Felix openly expressed his dream of playing for Barcelona, a sentiment he shared with Fabrizio Romano earlier in the summer, stating, “Barcelona has always been my first choice… a dream come true for me.”
Conversely, Atletico Madrid’s stance is more resolute.
Club president Enrique Cerezo indicated that Felix does not wish to play for the team, yet remains under contract.
This disagreement has opened the door for other clubs to pursue the Portuguese star.
Paris Saint-Germain has emerged as a potential destination for Felix, particularly after parting ways with Messi and Neymar.
However, the reported asking price of £77 million proves prohibitive, given Felix’s current predicament.
Negotiations for a loan deal with a purchase option are underway, although Madrid is purportedly seeking an obligation to finalize the sale.
Meanwhile, Liverpool has also entered the picture as they consider Felix as a potential successor to Mohamed Salah.
The Egyptian winger’s potential departure has prompted Liverpool to explore alternatives.
Despite Felix’s impressive four-goal stint with Chelsea last season, Pochettino dismissed the notion of extending his stay, prompting Felix to search for a permanent home.
Considering the void left by an injury to Christopher Nkunku at Chelsea, Felix’s skill set as a natural fit for the No.10 role garners attention.
Although other players have deputized, Felix’s appeal to fans remains strong.
Despite this, Liverpool’s interest complicates the prospect of Felix’s return to Chelsea, leaving multiple opportunities on the table for the young talent.