Chelsea snubbed €80m Barca star for two reasons; Romano claims ex-Blues man’s ‘value’ has ‘doubled’

Lewis Oldham
Ex-Chelsea star Felix
Joao Felix alongside Barcelona teammate Raphinha.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed why Chelsea decided against re-signing Joao Felix during the summer transfer window.

Felix had a spell on loan at Chelsea towards the end of last season. He was linked with Arsenal and Manchester United before he finalised his move to Stamford Bridge.

The Portugal international was sent off in his debut as he ultimately failed to live up to expectations for Premier League strugglers.

The attacker is not in Diego Simeone’s plans at Atletico Madrid so he was linked with a move back to the Premier League this summer but he ended up following international teammate Joao Cancelo in joining La Liga giants Barcelona on loan.

Romano has now revealed that the “finances of the deal” and “technical decision” from Mauricio Pochettino ruled Chelsea out of the race for Felix this summer.

“I wanted to clarify something on Chelsea, where Felix played on loan in the second half of last season. Many Chelsea fans have been asking me why they decided to let Felix go,” Romano told Caught Offside.

“Firstly, earlier in the summer it looked impossible for Atletico to accept another loan deal, while Chelsea decided against a permanent transfer, which would have meant paying something like €70-80m.

“So, there were the finances of the deal, and also a technical decision, because Mauricio Pochettino was not convinced about this solution – he wanted to go for different players, he believed Christopher Nkunku would be perfect for Chelsea in that kind of creative position and so they decided against a negotiation for Felix.

“Once Pochettino joined as Chelsea manager, the message was very clear, Felix was no longer a target. Pochettino decided together with the club and they decided to go in a different direction.”

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Romano has also discussed Fikayo Tomori’s situation at AC Milan. Chelsea made the surprising decision to let the defender leave the club, with his permanent exit confirmed in 2021 for a fee of around £25m.

This transfer has been the making of Tomori and his form for AC Milan has led to him extending his contract until 2027.

The reporter thinks Tomori’s “value must have doubled since leaving Stamford Bridge”.

“Some Chelsea fans have also asked me about Fikayo Tomori after his superb performances for AC Milan,” Romano added.

“His value for sure must have more than doubled since he left Stamford Bridge for the San Siro. AC Milan have been smart in signing Fikayo, he’s a very good player and also a good leader.

“My understanding is there is no buy-back clause for Chelsea, at the moment he’s 100% focused on Milan project – he signed a new deal a few months ago.”

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