Atletico Madrid began their return to La Liga with a 2-0 victory over Elche on Thursday night. Despite the intense speculation surrounding his future, Joao Felix was started by Diego Simeone for the first time in La Liga since mid-September.
It proved to be a smart decision. Felix got the breakthrough goal on the night and combining with Antoine Griezmann and brekaout starlet Pablo Barrios, the Portuguese was one of the best on the night. Felix started as part of front three with Griezmann and Alvaro Morata, but with the two playmakers withdrawn and inside, rather than as wingers. As it did with Portugal in the World Cup, it seemed to suit Felix.
Atletico Madrid’s record signing is still expected to leave either in January or the summer, after CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin told reporters that he had asked to do so. His likely destination would be the Premier League, Fabrizio Romano told Caught Offside in his exclusive Daily Briefing.
“Not yet, Jorge Mendes is speaking to English clubs to find the right solution. It will be discussed again in the next weeks.”
“Atletico Madrid are considering Borja Iglesias of Betis Sevilla, but there’s still no agreement.”
Betis striker Borja Iglesias publicly addressed speculation on his way to training on Tuesday, explaining that as far as he was concerned, there were no talks. It appears there is some interest on Atleti’s part.
That would likely only happen if Felix does depart. Given Atleti will likely demand in excess of €100m for him, it could well depend on whether they are content to allow him to leave on loan initially, or whether they require a full transfer immediately.