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João Félix travels to London to finalize his loan to Chelsea


The Portuguese will play until the end of the season for the London team and the operation marks a turning point in the bad sporting relationship between the player and Simeone

João Félix will play on loan until the end of the season at Chelsea.

The player has taken a flight to London at eleven this morning to pass the medical examination.

The football disagreements with Diego Pablo Simeone, which already began to emerge from the first months of coexistence, have led to this momentary break that may be final on June 30.

The agreement with the London team, which is around ten million euros for the loan plus the player's salary (23 years old), does not include a mandatory purchase clause, but if the player manages to revalue his return to Atlético in these six months It seems complicated if Simeone continues to lead the team.

For Miguel Ángel Gil Marín, maximum shareholder of the rojiblanca entity, to unblock an operation that he has tried to avoid until he was convinced that the player could no longer take it under the direction of the Argentine coach, it has been necessary to extend the contract until 2027 of João Félix, which expired in 2026. This extension of the commitment softens the amortization of the 127 million euros that Atlético paid for his transfer to Benfica in the summer of 2019 to alleviate the departure of Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona, ​​but it is also a message to the footballer

The club considers that the most expensive investment in its history cannot be treated as if it were any player to go from loan to loan if a transfer is not made in the summer.

For a long time, the entrenchment of the problem led to the dilemma that the club, the coach or the player never wanted to reach.

The pulse has been won by Simeone, although it has left scars in the credit and confidence that the leadership maintains towards his figure, already worn down by the passing of the years and the feeling, increasingly increased, that the potential of the squad is not being corresponds to the results of the last year and a half.

The case of João Félix has become the great exponent of this conclusion that has languished within the club.

There are many internal voices that question Simeone's management with a contract in which they had high hopes.

This temporary separation occurs in the campaign in which Simeone propagated at the beginning that it would be that of "João Félix and ten more".

Six months later, the football relationship is impossible.

The coach thinks that he is a player incapable of sustaining talent, which he does recognize, for one season and he criticizes that the coach's approaches are too defensive.

After feeling sportingly humiliated by the Argentine coach after beginning to do without him after the defeat in the derby against Real Madrid, João Félix informed his representative, Jorge Mendes, and Gil Marín of his intention to leave in this same winter market .

The latter has never digested well the substitutions of his star signing, framed in a future and juicy sale if there had been a definitive explosion of the player at Atlético.

The Portuguese attacker and the coach have rarely felt comfortable with each other.

The price paid for a boy who was 19 years old at the time and had only six months of experience in professional football was seen by the coach as a problem that would make it difficult to adapt to his script.

The friction began from the first games, when Cholo made João Félix play on the right wing and away from the area.

Mendes's calls to Gil Marín not to play in that position anymore had their effect, but that interference has already begun to deteriorate a relationship that has never finished rebuilding itself.

Simeone counted on the player when he thought he was fit, but he considers that he has always pointed at him, even in public, and has sent him to the bench as soon as his performance dropped and the results were not good.

In these three and a half years, 131 games and 34 goals, the Portuguese's greatest impact on the team's game came, before seriously injuring his right ankle, in the first three months of the 20-21 campaign in which Atlético was proclaimed champion of the League.

Since then, there have been multiple disagreements and João Félix did not hesitate to stage them with gestures such as silencing the coach after scoring a goal in Vila-real or throwing his bib to the ground after not entering the field against Bruges after warming up for more than half an hour.

Those flashes also ended up being annoying in the locker room,

Sportingly, Chelsea is a risky bet.

It is not going through a good moment in the Premier League, but it is the only leading team in which João Félix has more options to play.

And he is still alive in the Champions League, one of the "short tournaments", for which the coach said, during the World Cup, that the boy is worth it, even if this course decided to try to classify Atlético for the round of 16 without his help in the decisive matches .

That failed Simeone bet was the straw that filled a glass already overflowing due to the lack of football empathy between the two.

Only three forwards waiting to close an acceptable loan

After the transfer of Matheus Cunha to Wolverhampton and the transfer of João Félix to Chelsea, Simeone has been left with only three forwards on the payroll: Morata, Griezmann and Correa.

If at the start of the season five attackers seemed like a lot to the Argentine coach, three fall short now.

From the rojiblanco club they assure that they will sign a forward for these six months if they find one that counts for Simeone and has a reasonable price.

Since João Félix's departure began to be taken for granted after Gil Marín confirmed the Portuguese's bad relationship with Simeone, there are several attackers who have been linked to Atlético.

The one that sounded loudest was that of Borja Iglesias, but Betis was not willing to transfer him for less than 50 million euros.

The inconvenience of reinforcing a direct rival for a place in the next Champions League was also a factor that made the transfer difficult.

The economic difficulties of Betis were a point in favor, but the Verdiblanca entity has just closed the sale of winger Alex Moreno to Aston Villa for around 15 million euros, which has alleviated its financial situation in the short term.

Atlético, not having a minimum offer, estimated at 100 million euros, for the transfer of João Félix,

He cannot now face the purchase of Borja Iglesias, who is with his club in Saudi Arabia to play the Spanish Super Cup.

"If someone wants me to play for their team, they should first talk to the club, if they don't convince them, I'm very happy here," the Galician striker said yesterday on Radio Sevilla.

With the signing of Borja Iglesias almost ruled out, other names such as Enes Ünal (Getafe) and Marcus Thuram (Borussia M'Gladbach) are on the table.

The last to come to the fore is the Dutch end of Barcelona Memphis Depay.

Atlético has asked and the Barça club will submit to an internal debate with Xavi if he lets him leave, once the coach has assured that he will only let players go if they bring him spare parts.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2023-01-10

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