João Félix, in the league match against Espanyol.Quality Sport Images (Getty Images)
Three weeks after Miguel Ángel Marín put João Félix on the market, airing the disagreements between the player and Diego Pablo Simeone, Atlético de Madrid has not yet received a firm offer for a transfer or loan, according to club sources. .
The owner of the entity does not have a formal offer to assess, neither from Chelsea, nor from Arsenal, nor from United, the three clubs that from England indicate as a possible destination for the Portuguese striker.
If the coach does not change his mind regarding what he has tried in recent training sessions, tonight, against Elche, at the Metropolitano (9:30 p.m. Movistar LaLiga), the Portuguese attacker will form the starting eleven.
Now with the transfer window open,
The player is still determined to leave and Simeone does not care, they slip into the club, but the move is not easy because it fully affects the root of the operation that brought João Félix to Atlético, in the summer of 2019, as a replacement star of Antoine Griezmann in exchange for 126 million euros.
At just 19 years old, the transfer from Benfica had a second operation hidden after a supposed revaluation of the player.
At that time, even the ears of the player's agent, Jorge Mendes, and Gil Marín himself reached third-party conclusions that made them see his mistake in putting the talent of the budding Portuguese star in Simeone's hands.
Three and a half seasons later, the hatched strategy is on the trigger.
It seems difficult for a club to disburse 100 million euros in this winter market for a footballer who right now would be a risk bet due to the discontinuity of his performance.
The assignment is the most feasible way, but there the club puts its interests first.
If there is no purchase in January, João Félix must choose a transfer destination in which his figure is revalued with a view to a sale in summer.
Any possible reinforcement, such as that of Borja Iglesias, advanced by
, is subject to his departure.
“We can't start talking to anyone if João doesn't come out.
His replacement can be anyone, ”says a leader.
, even the name of Ansu Fati has sounded in the offices.
The loan formula also contains another derivative that intersects with Simeone's future.
If the team does not qualify for the next edition of the Champions League, the club can terminate the contract year that would remain for the coach, paying him an amount much less than the 23 million euros net that he receives.
Without Simeone on the horizon, João Félix might not see his continuity at Atlético as traumatic.
Waiting for the arrival of an offer that first convinces the club and then the player has brought about a professional truce between the Argentine coach and the footballer.
Unlike other World Cup players, he joined training directly, skipping the rehabilitation sessions in the gym that those who have participated in the World Cup usually do.
His acceptable performance in Qatar has given the player a high dose of self-esteem and the coach has appreciated that he has arrived in good shape.
Simeone had planned to line him up in the eleven that faced Arenteiro in the Cup, but a pharyngotonsillitis prevented it.
All in all, faced with a more important game, João Félix could have been lined up without problems, according to sources close to the rojiblanco dressing room.
The club's leadership observes that reconciliation is already an exclusive matter of the coach and the player.
Gil Marín, in a meeting with both, stated that his wish was for the player to remain, but it seems complicated if he finds a way to leave Atlético in January.
The statements of one and the other during the World Cup showed their differences.
Simeone could not suppress his thoughts about João Félix, whom he considers inconsistent to defend his talent for an entire season.
"I saw him very well.
It is an ideal tournament for him, short, where you can see beauty, speed, where you fall in love with players like him, ”he said after the brilliant performance of the Portuguese against Ghana.
The "short" was a puya that did not sit well with the club or the player, but also a contradiction of Simeone.
The final phase of the Champions League in Lisbon was short and João Félix was a substitute against Leipzig.
And short in time was the final outcome of the recent group stage in which Simeone dispensed with the Portuguese and the result was elimination and not even reaching third place that gave access to the Europa League.
In Qatar, João Félix also did not hide his animosity towards Simeone's approaches when he was asked the difference between his performance at Atlético and his good work during the World Cup.
"The way of playing with Portugal is completely different here than at Atlético, and the joy is different," said the Portuguese.
He already did not care to show his discontent with gestures such as throwing away his bib when Simeone began to do without him after the defeat in the derby with Real Madrid (1-2).
If Cholo opted to straighten the course in the Champions League and in the League without him, the player did not hide his annoyance with the coach, convinced that sooner or later he would have to resort to him, as happened in the last games before of the break, and it seems that now too.
However, although he has defenders inside the locker room,
While the departure of João Félix is resolved, the situation has awakened the more pragmatic Simeone, who will count on the player as long as he is available and considers that his performance can help to rectify the bad season signed before the World Cup break.
“What matters to me is the team and he is an important player.
If he manages to transmit everything that the World Cup did, it will be very important.
Especially since the team needs his qualities, "said Simeone yesterday, who described the relationship with João Félix and admitted the differences:" It's a good, working relationship.
Beyond the differences that may exist in people”.
The three world champions join the work
The three Atleti world champions, Rodrigo de Paul, Nahuel Molina and Ángel Correa, joined the club's discipline yesterday after finishing their holidays.
De Paul did not train due to hamstring problems that he has been carrying since the World Cup.
Nahuel Molina has trained outside the group to do specific individualized work.
The only one who trained with the group was Correa, who did not play a minute in Qatar.
The three will not be at the Metropolitano tonight against Elche, but they can enter the squad for the Cup match in Oviedo.
For the appointment with the Elche team, Simeone has doubts about Jan Oblak, the Slovenian goalkeeper, who with an indisposition did not train yesterday, despite going to Cerro del Espino.
The Belgian Axel Witsel also had the same symptoms as Oblak and his participation is also on the air.
The Croatian goalkeeper Grbic and Kondogbia are the candidates to replace both.
In defence, Simeone returns to the three centrals to match the drawing of Pablo Machín, who with Girona used to pose difficult matches for the Argentine coach.
Marcos Llorente and Carrasco will be the wingers.
In the center of the field, Kondogbia would be accompanied by Lemar and youth player Pablo Barrios, who will make his debut as a starter at the Metropolitano.
Barrios, goalscorer in the Cup, is the breath of fresh air with which Simeone tries to shake up the dressing room.
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