It’s been claimed that Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal all turned down the chance to sign Barcelona star Joao Felix during the summer.
Felix had a spell on loan at Chelsea last season. He produced a couple moments of brilliance during his brief spell in the Premier League but he ultimately failed to live up to expectations.
The attacker was linked with Arsenal and Man Utd before he joined Chelsea and he was been linked with several clubs around Europe before this season started.
The Portugal international fell out with Diego Simeone last season so he needed to leave Atletico Madrid this summer and he ended up securing himself a “dream” loan move to Barcelona.
Felix has enjoyed a fantastic start at Barcelona as he has grabbed three goals and two assists in his first four appearances for the Spanish giants.
The 23-year-old could have ended up back in the Premier League instead of Barcelona if Atletico Madrid legend Paulo Futre is to be believed.
Futre has claimed that he has held talks with Felix’s agent – Jorge Mendes – over the player’s situation. He has revealed that several Premier League clubs “said no” to signing the forward after there “was an agreement” between Atletico Madrid and Aston Villa.
“When Joao said he dreamed of playing for Barca I began to live a nightmare that lasts to this day. I called him [Mendes] and told him that the statements that Joao had made were his doing and he said no,” Futre told Cadena Ser.
“We argued on the phone and he told me that he had spoken to Manchester United. I verified what he told me because I have friends and it was true. Later he had spoken with Manchester City, I also checked and they didn’t want Joao either.”
“What happened between Joao and Cholo [Diego Simeone] happens every day in football. It’s something normal. What is not normal is that phenomenal coaches knew that Joao was a genius, he entered their game system, but nobody wanted him.
“Neither [Mikel] Arteta, nor [Pep] Guardiola, nor [Jurgen] Klopp, any club. My question is why? The only team that has wanted him has been Aston Villa. Joao said no when there was an agreement between Atleti and Aston Villa at the beginning of July.”
“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,” Romano told Caught Offside.
“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.”