NEWS
Friday June 21 2019
Real Madrid tried to hijack Atletico move for Benfica star Joao Felix

Real Madrid have failed in an attempt to hijack Atletico Madrid’s signing of Benfica star Joao Felix, details a report in Marca.

The Portuguese teenager is set to join Atleti after they triggered his €120m release clause, but the fresh report claims Madrid offered €80m up front plus a further €50m in variables to clinch a move.

However, such a move is said to have failed as the Lisbon giants would not negotiate on the fee and the €120m for Felix’s release clause needed to be paid up front.

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.

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.

Football Italia website