Romano rates Arsenal’s chances of signing ‘fantastic’ star in January; midfielder is ‘still appreciated’

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal-linked Felix

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano thinks Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix would be a “fantastic signing” for Arsenal if they can get him in January.

Felix enjoyed a positive World Cup despite Portugal exiting the competition earlier than they would have hoped. They were beaten 1-0 in the quarter-finals by Morocco.

His form in Qatar comes after his apparent fall-out with Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone.

The attacker has fallen out of favour but he managed to score three goals in two substitute appearances in Atletico’s last two La Liga games before the World Cup.

It is expected that he will leave in January and a loan move away from Atletico is said to be a possibility.

Arsenal and Aston Villa are said to be in the running to sign Felix. It has even been claimed that the Londoners have ‘took the lead’ and are the favourites to secure his services.

But Romano has reported on Tuesday morning that ‘there are no favourites’ for Felix ‘at this stage’.

‘Despite some reports about Arsenal moving into a strong position, my understanding is that there are no favourites at this stage for Joao Felix,’ Romano wrote for Caught Offside.

‘His agent is speaking to many clubs, it’s the moment of meetings and discussions but nothing is advanced yet with Atletico or with the player.

‘I think Joao Felix would be a fantastic signing for Arsenal as for any other club in the world, but he has to play. A regular starter in every single game, otherwise it makes no sense.’

The Gunners are also in the market for a new centre-midfielder with Danilo and Youri Tielemans linked with the club.

Tielemans is out of contract in 2023 and it is expected that he will be available as a free agent. Danilo meanwhile could cost around £20m.

Romano has added that Arsenal are not close to signing either player but they are still interested.

‘I’ve had Arsenal fans asking me for updates on Danilo, but there is no news as of now,’ Romano added.

‘Arsenal have been following him for a long time but it’s not a direct or advanced negotiation as things stand. There are also Italian and Spanish clubs tracking Danilo.

‘As for Youri Tielemans, he has been on Arsenal’s list for months, he’s still appreciated but Tielemans could leave in June as free agent… so it depends on the proposals he receives.’

Arsenal have recently been dealt a blow as Gabriel Jesus is set to be out of action for a couple months as a result of a knee injury.

This leaves them with Eddie Nketiah as their only obvious choice to play up front.

Folarin Balogun is currently on loan at Ligue 1 side Reims but Romano does not believe that Arsenal are planning to recall him.

‘I can say that there are no discussions ongoing now between Arsenal and Reims for Folarin Balogun to be recalled in January — it’s quiet, despite speculation.

‘All parties expect Balogun to complete the season on loan at Reims, as things stand.’

READ MORE: Predicting the next ten England debutants as squad evolves again for Euro 2024