Atletico Madrid President Enrique Cerezo has wished Joao Felix the best of luck at Barcelona, while admitting he was not sure if he would see him in a Rojiblanco shirt again.
Barcelona, at least publicly, have been clear that they want to hold onto Felix next season, but their stand off with Atletico is taking place at a significant distance. In addition to Felix’s wages, Atletico reportedly are not willing to go below €70m to sell Felix, nor will they consider a loan deal. For the Blaugrana, that fee looks out of the question.
“He is going to be one of the best players in Europe and I wish him the best of luck at Barcelona. I don’t know if he will return to Atleti, but if Barcelona wants him, they will have to make an offer. I don’t know why he hasn’t succeeded at Atleti,” noted Cerezo.
🎙️| Enrique Cerezo: “The Super League is good for Spanish football; we [Atleti] left to avoid a sanction from UEFA.” pic.twitter.com/0JeXPs45Nd
— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) November 15, 2023
One of the narratives that has dogged Felix is that he has never shown the attitude that Diego Simeone wanted to see from him. Cerezo told Cadena Cope that there were no issues in the dressing room now.
“I don’t think so; I have never seen a problem with him.”
Sport claim this is part of the game for Atletico and Cerezo. The Catalan daily contend that Felix has no intention of accepting an offer from Saudi Arabia, nor from the Premier League. Similarly to this past summer, he will wait for Barcelona and Atletico to work a deal out.
🚨 Atlético Madrid will not go below 70 million euros for João Félix. @Luis_F_Rojo 🇵🇹
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) November 15, 2023
Thus Atletico’s strategy of talking about Felix publicly is in part to try and instigate some movement, knowing that they will likely have to negotiate with Barcelona. The Blaugrana are in no rush to make that move, and neither have they discussed it with Felix or his agent Jorge Mendes.
If indeed Felix is determined to turn out for Barcelona and no-one else, then it certainly works in Barcelona’s favour. For Los Colchoneros, the path to bringing in a big fee for Felix will wind through convincing Felix to accept an offer elsewhere.