Atletico Madrid set Joao Felix deadline

Atletico Madrid are working hard to ensure Benfica star Joao Felix joins the club before the 7 July deadline for returning to training, say Marca.

That is the date that international players for Los Rojiblancos will return to first-team training by and Benfica confirmed this week they had received a €126m offer for the player from Atleti.

Whilst a move to Los Rojiblancos appears to be imminent, the offer from the club appears to have been submitted in installments rather than upfront – so his €120m release clause has not yet been triggered.

Last week, Marca reported the deal was ‘imminent’ after his €120m release clause was met by Los Rojiblancos.

Atleti are willing to trigger the 19-year-old’s clause in a deal which will eclipse their previous club record – the capture of winger Thomas Lemar from Monaco, a move which cost a potential €72m.

The fresh reports follows on from Diario AS citing a report in Portuguese outlet Record which stated the teenager was already in the Spanish capital to complete his move.

It is claimed the Felix deal will be funded by Antoine Griezmann’s exit from the club – a release clause also standing at €120m – which would also represent a record sale for Los Rojiblancos.

It is also said that the promise of regular first-team football, the role of Coach Diego Simeone and his agent Jorge Mendes’s relationship with Atleti all as being key.

Felix, 19, has risen to prominence for the Lisbon-based giants this season and netted 20 goals while registering 11 assists for the club, who regained the Portuguese top-flight.

The player’s contract at the Lisbon-based giants run through until 2023 although previous reports have claimed Benfica are trying to move this up to €200m with a new deal.

Felix has netted in two Lisbon derbies against Sporting CP this season and also scored against FC Porto in a key title clash in January.

That has led to the attack-minded midfielder being labelled as ‘the next Cristiano Ronaldo’ while Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United have also scouted the player.

The player is said to be versatile and can operate in a number of attacking positions, while he starred in the UEFA Youth League semi-finals in 2016-17 against Real Madrid.

Tags Joao Felix