Benfica closing in on Joao Felix deal

Joao Felix is reportedly closing in on returning to SL Benfica, with Barcelona’s hopes of signing the 24-year-old Portuguese international fading.

According to a report by Spanish outlet SPORT, Barcelona will unlikely re-sign Joao Felix in the summer transfer window. SL Benfica and Atletico Madrid have an agreement worth €30 million, with the Portuguese giants owning 50 per cent of his rights, as the Portuguese international closes in on returning to his former club.

Joao Felix and his rollercoaster ride at Atletico Madrid

Joao Felix has blown hot and cold since joining Atletico Madrid from SL Benfica in a nine-figure deal in July 2019. The Colchoneros smashed their transfer record to sign the 24-year-old, who was one of the most highly-rated young prospects in the world half a decade ago.

However, Felix has struggled to fulfil his potential at Atletico Madrid, partly due to Diego Simeone’s tactics. In addition, the Portuguese international has not been in Simeone’s good books for two years, spending the last 18 months away from Civitas Metropolitano on a couple of loan moves.

Chelsea first signed him for the second half of the 2022/23 season before Barcelona completed a season-long loan deal last summer. Felix was top-notch for Barcelona in the 2023/24 campaign, contributing to 16 goals in only 2,143 minutes of game time by finding the back of the net ten times and providing six assists.

So, it is hardly surprising why Barcelona wanted to bring Joao Felix back to the club in the summer transfer window. However, discussions with Atletico Madrid did not progress as smoothly as the Blaugrana would have liked, with Los Rojiblancos slapping a price of €60 million on the player.

Barcelona lose Felix chase

The latest update corroborates those claims, with Benfica agreeing to 50 per cent of Joao Felix’s rights by coughing up €30 million. Atletico Madrid will retain the other half. As for Barcelona, they must look elsewhere for offensive reinforcement, with the 24-year-old Portuguese international not returning to the club this summer.

Nico Williams is the priority target for Barcelona in the summer transfer window, with recent reports providing positive updates on the chase. It will be interesting to see who bolsters Barcelona’s offensive department in the coming weeks.

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