’82억→500억’ FW, 90% salary cut to ‘Dream Club’, complete transfer?

Could Joao Felix make an outright move to Barcelona?

“I don’t know if he (Felix) will come back to Atletico, but if Barcelona want him, they will have to make an offer,” Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cereso told Spain’s Cope on Saturday.

Felix burst onto the Spanish scene in 2019 when he left Benfica for Atletico. Atletico had high hopes for Felix, who was just 20 years old at the time, spending €126 million on him – the fifth highest transfer fee in history behind Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, and Kylian Mbappe.

The result was a disaster. After joining the team for a hefty fee, Felix managed just six goals and one assist in 27 league games in his first season, and then seven goals and five assists in 31 league games the following season in 2020-21, not quite living up to his high price tag. Atletico fans expected Felix to improve over the course of the season as he was still a young player, but he didn’t make much progress.

Eventually, he made his way to England. He joined Chelsea on loan in the 2022-23 winter transfer window. On his debut, he was sent off with a direct red card and lost about a month of his six-month loan period. His final tally at Chelsea was 4 goals in 16 games. He was forced to return to the team without much movement. 아톰카지노

Upon his return to Atletico, Felix stirred up controversy with his off-the-cuff comments. “Barcelona has always been my first choice and I want to join them,” he said in July. “It’s always been a dream since I was a kid to join Barcelona. If the deal with Barcelona goes through, it will be a dream come true.” Atletico fans were outraged by Felix’s outrageous comments and his absence from pre-season, and they booed him when he was named on the bench for the first leg against Granada.

Barcelona reached out to Felix. In September, Barcelona announced on its website that it had “agreed to loan Felix until June 30, 2024. There is no option for a permanent transfer. We thank Felix for his desire to wear the Barcelona shirt,” the club announced. His annual salary will be €400,000 (approximately $573 million). Felix took a 90% pay cut from his previous salary to join Barcelona.

Felix’s move to the ‘Dream Club’ started off with a bang. After making his debut as a substitute against Osasuna in the fourth round, Felix started against Real Betis in the fifth round and scored his first goal. His resurgence continued with two goals and an assist against Antwerp in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) and another against Celta Vigo in the sixth round of the league. In 14 official appearances to date, Felix has been a consistent performer with three goals and three assists.

At the same time, the possibility of an outright transfer has been raised. “They (Felix and Joao Cancelo) are both good additions to the squad and there is no doubt that we want to keep them for next season,” Barcelona director Deco told RAC1. We are happy with their performances,” he said, hinting at the possibility of an outright transfer.

Atletico president Florentino Perez also chimed in: “I don’t think so at all,” he said when asked if Felix had ever caused problems within Atletico. “I don’t think so at all,” he dismissed, “I’ve never seen him do anything that could be a problem. “He will be one of the best players in Europe and I wish him the best of luck at Barcelona. I don’t understand why he hasn’t been successful at Atletico.”