Atletico Madrid close to selling Barcelona target to S.L. Benfica

Date:

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - JUNE 26: Joao Felix of Portugal runs with the ball during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Georgia and Portugal at Arena AufSchalke on June 26, 2024 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.
Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images

Despite their well-known financial problems, FC Barcelona were able to strengthen themselves in the last summer transfer window with some low-cost but high-quality signings.

For instance, Ilkay Gundogan joined as a free agent after his contract ended with Manchester City, while Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix were obtained on season-long loans.

As their loans have ended, these two Portuguese players have already left Barcelona. However, the Catalans were reportedly looking to retain them for another season.

But Barcelona might not be able to get one of these players for the next season, as SPORT reports that Atletico Madrid and S.L. Benfica are very close to coming to an agreement for the transfer of Joao Felix to the Portuguese club, and only the player’s nod is needed to complete this operation.

The report claims that Benfica have agreed to pay €30 million for 50% rights of the player. Thus, he will become the most expensive signing in the Portuguese club’s history, but the Portuguese club is pushing for his signing because they consider Felix to be a strategic bet.

The Eagles understand that Barcelona are finding it difficult to close their operations in the market because of their wage cap after their conversations with Jorge Mendes, and thus want to get the better of the Blaugranes in this operation.

They first offered €20 million for 50% of Felix’s rights to Atletico Madrid, but the deal can now be closed for €30 million, a figure that Barcelona cannot reach at the moment.

Mendes had already informed Barcelona about the movements taking place around Felix, and the Catalans made it clear that they will only be able to make a move at the end of July or the beginning of August, and are interested only in a loan. Thus, the agent moved forward with Benfica while waiting for Barcelona.

Felix has always prioritized staying at Barça and communicated this to Deco. He was willing to wait, but interest from Benfica has made him reconsider due to the enthusiasm the Portuguese club is showing in bringing back one of their prodigal sons.

The Portuguese forward will need to adjust his contract and has requested a winning project that will allow him to compete in Europe under favorable conditions. This is currently being discussed. If he agrees, he will become a Benfica player after the UEFA EURO 2024.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid have ceased any negotiations with FC Barcelona for Felix, as they prefer closing the deal with S.L. Benfica. This move will also help them eliminate his amortized costs.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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