Arsenal are reportedly considering a summer swoop for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix, with Mikel Arteta personally pushing for his signing.
According to journalist Eduardo Inda, Arsenal have set their sights on a move for Atletico Madrid and Portugal forward Joao Felix in the upcoming transfer window.
Felix spent the early years of his footballing journey at FC Porto before switching to the academy of arch-rivals SL Benfica, where he broke into the first team in 2018. After an impressive debut season in which he scored 20 goals in 43 games, the 22-year-old was snapped up by Atletico Madrid in 2019 in a club-record deal worth €120 million.
However, the move has failed to pay off as Felix has looked like fish out of water in Diego Simeone’s system at the Wanda Metropolitano. Felix, to date, has made 100 appearances for Atleti, producing a sub-par return of 23 goals and 14 assists only.
Felix has struggled for game-time in the current campaign, having started just seven La Liga matches so far. It is claimed that Simeone would be happy to sanction an exit for the Portuguese international if he can sign a replacement in the form of Valencia attacker Goncalo Guedes.
.@eduardoinda: “Joao Felix is a very good player. Arsenal want him. Simeone, his objective is to change Felix for Guedes. The problem Atleti have is that he cost €120m & getting that back is something that can only be done if he is sold to the Premier League.” [@elchiringuitotv] pic.twitter.com/E1niGaG3o7
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) February 22, 2022
This development has seemingly alerted Arsenal, who are now considering swooping in to sign Felix from Atletico Madrid in the summer transfer window. Attacking reinforcements are necessary at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners already lost Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January and are staring at the prospect of losing Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah in the summer.
The pair are out of contract at the end of the season and are likely to move on, leaving Arsenal with no recognised striker in the squad. As a result, Mikel Arteta’s side are planning a big splurge in the market, with links emerging to Inter Milan and Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez, while Napoli marksman Victor Osimhen is also a target.
Felix has also emerged as a potential option for the north London outfit. While he is not a traditional centre-forward, the 22-year-old has proven himself capable of playing through the middle and could form a dynamic frontline with Arsenal youngsters like Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.
However, his contract with Atletico Madrid runs until the summer of 2026. The Rojiblancos would be keen on recouping as much as possible to make up for their €120 million outlay. Whether Arsenal are willing to pay the big bucks to sign him remains to be seen.