Frank Leboeuf ‘hopes’ Chelsea can sell two of their forward stars to stump up the cash required to land Joao Felix on a permanent basis.
Chelsea signed Felix from Atletico Madrid in January, but the loan deal did not include an option to buy, with the Spanish club then confirming that the Portugal international has signed a one-year contract extension.
After an inauspicious debut, which saw Felix sent off, the forward has caught the eye for Graham Potter’s side, though he’s only managed two goals in nine appearances, and is yet to claim an assist.
Felix has said he is enjoying life at Stamford Bridge and has intimated that he would be keen to extend his stay.
Atletico could demand up to £100m for a player they signed for around £120m in 2019.
But Leboeuf says the price tag is the “only worry” for Chelsea, who could make up the money by selling both Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic, both of him will have just a year left to run on their contracts come the summer.
Talks over a new contract for Mount have stalled and both Liverpool and Manchester United are rumoured to be interested in acquiring him, while Pulisic has been consistently linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge due to a lack of playing time.
“Joao Felix is a great player,” Leboeuf told ESPN when asked if his former club should sign the Portuguese star on a permanent transfer.
“I think he’s the most dangerous player, the most entertaining player, the most artistic player at Chelsea right now. He’s been pretty consistent too, almost every game he creates something.
“Hopefully Chelsea will be able to sell a few players – maybe Pulisic and Mount – and can then get Felix on a permanent.
“It would be a lot of money, that’s the only worry for the owners. But in terms of a football player, I would sign him.”
Chelsea record signing Enzo Fernandez is also keen for Felix to stay at Stamford Bridge.
“When you get on with someone off the field it helps on the field to have that special connection,” Fernandez said last month.
“He’s a great player, isn’t he? A fantastic player. He’s got lots of ability and loads of qualities.
“He’s a key player for us, an important player and he’s on loan. Let’s hope that Chelsea can do all they can to keep hold of him come June, that would be great.”