Chelsea have been told by Arsenal legend Paul Merson that they should not pursue a move for Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix. The 23-year-old has been the recipient of significant interest from a number of Premier League clubs, with Chelsea scouting the attacker in recent months, as football.london understands.
Interest first arrived for Felix following comments made by Atletico Madrid CEO Gil Marin, who said:
“Joao Felix has top level but because of his relationship with Simeone and game time… we feel that makes sense to consider potential bids to sell him.”
This prompted interest to arrive from Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal , although the demand for a permanent departure was likely deemed to high by a number of clubs. Duncan Castles revealed Atletico were prepared to let Felix join a Premier League club on loan in January, which then made a deal next month become far more appealing.
A fee of £8million was initially suggested but CBS’ Ben Jacobs dove deeper into the finances of the move and revealed while £8million is the fee to cover the loan over the six months until the end of the season, his wages must also be paid which would come at an extra £5.3million.
However, Todd Boehly’s interest in Felix has remained and Dean Jones has explained the reason why the Blues are persisting on a move for the Portuguese international, despite the finances required to only have him at the club for six months. Speaking to GiveMeSport, he said:
“A loan and an option is definitely something that is tempting. I think that some money involved in that loan will be totally fine because, clearly, Todd Boehly wants to show that Chelsea are serious about attracting some of the biggest names in football and Joao Felix is still that.”
However, Chelsea’s co-owner has been told by Paul Merson that signing Felix would be a mistake, citing two key reasons why they shouldn’t push for a transfer and outlining what sort of attacker they should look to sign instead. Merson wrote in his Daily Star column:
“I’ve seen Joao Felix linked with them but I think he’d be a bit lightweight in this league and a bit too similar to Kai Havertz. They need to find someone more dynamic who can bully defenders and score goals. But those are hard to find.”