Newcastle and Aston Villa ‘set for Joao Felix talks’ as agent jets into UK in Man Utd blow | Football | Sport
Joao Felix’s agent Jorge Mendes is set to fly into the UK for talks with Newcastle and Aston Villa ahead of the January transfer window, according to reports. Felix is widely expected to leave Atletico Madrid next month after falling out with Diego Simeone and has been linked with a handful of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea, since the end of last season.
Newcastle and Villa have emerged as the surprise contenders for Felix’s signature in recent weeks, though, and it seems possible that a two-way battle could take shape when the transfer window reopens in January. Mendes has since decided to accelerate the situation by making plans to fly into the UK for in-person talks over his client’s future, according to the Sunday Mirror.
It is said that Mendes is expected to arrive the country this week as he looks to speak to both Newcastle and Villa regarding their interest in Felix over the coming days. Previous discussions have already been held with the likes of United and Chelsea, though, which suggests that they could still be in the frame to land Felix before the end of next month.
A major issue facing Newcastle and Villa is that Felix is keen on joining a club that can offer him Champions League football, although the Magpies are on course to achieve a top-four finish in the Premier League as things stand. Both clubs can provide Felix with a significantly increased salary, though, which could see money emerge as the deciding factor when the situation develops in January.
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Newcastle’s newly-found riches could stand them in good stead to win the race for Felix’s services, while Unai Emery is eager to speak to him directly in a bid to convince him to make the switch to Villa Park. However, it remains to be seen where Felix will end up in the not-too-distant future, with all things currently pointing to a move away from Atletico at the turn of the year.
The Spanish giants would prefer to keep Felix on their books but have reluctantly decided to sell the Portuguese striker following the breakdown of his relationship with Simeone behind closed doors over the last few months. His exit will also go a long way to balancing the books at Atletico by shifting his wage bill after they were dumped out of the Champions League in the group stages earlier this season.
Atletico chief Miguel Angel Gil Marin recently admitted that bids for Felix will be considered in the January window, telling reporters: “[Felix] is the biggest bet this club has taken in its history. I personally think he’s a top talent, a world class player.
“For reasons it isn’t worth getting into, the relationship between him and the boss, the minutes played, his motivation right now, it makes you think that the reasonable thing is that if there’s an option that’s good for the player, good for the club, we can look at it. I’d love him to stay personally, but I don’t think that’s the player’s idea.”
Meanwhile, the player himself revealed earlier this month that he is not overly keen on Simeone’s defensive-minded playing style in the Spanish capital, telling reporters: “Yes, I feel better while playing for Portugal. The way we play here is totally different and the joy is also completely different.”
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