João Félix is coming back.
Atlético Madrid president Enrique Cerezo told the media on Tuesday that the club has been informed of Chelsea’s decision not to negotiate a new loan or permanent transfer for João — who will return to Atlético next month with a future that looks murkier than ever.
João Félix will NOT stay at Chelsea next season. Pochettino has decided, João returns to Atléti.— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 30, 2023
“We have been informed that Poch does not count with João Félix for Chelsea. He will return here, we’ll see… we’ve nothing planned”, Atlético president Cerezo has announced. pic.twitter.com/81i7fYauWG
New Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly the one who made the call on João, with confirmation arriving just 24 hours after he officially took the job at Stamford Bridge. It will bring a swift conclusion to the forward’s bitterly disappointing four-month loan spell in the Premier League — where he couldn’t arrest Chelsea’s tumble down the table and scored as many goals in 941 minutes there (four) as he did in 650 LaLiga minutes.
João turns 24 later this year, and his career is rapidly approaching a crossroads. He has four years left on a contract that threatens to be a millstone for Atleti. Chief executive and shareholder Miguel Ángel Gil Marín — who makes practically all the major decisions at the club — is still desperate to see João succeed at the Metropolitano, four years after rubber-stamping the player’s €126 million transfer from Benfica.
Of course, João’s poor relationship with Diego Simeone makes it difficult to see the pair working together again. Although anything’s possible, João has repeatedly stated he is happy in England, and most teams in the Premier League can offer him a high salary — not to mention an enticing fee to Atlético. But the Portuguese’s desire to feature in next season’s Champions League will severely limit his options, as the top teams in England (and elsewhere) don’t seem to want him.
João could be stuck at Atlético if no market develops for him when the transfer window reopens, so Gil will have to navigate this one carefully. If I were you, I would get ready for another summer soap opera.
Should João Félix be in Atlético’s squad next season?
This poll is closed
Yes — Simeone could use the depth and patch up his relationship with João
No — there are too many attackers already and the player-coach relationship is too damaged