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João Félix soap opera escalates as Atlético Madrid resume training

Joao Félix is an unwanted man at Atlético as both club and player search for solution.

Atlético Madrid began preseason training last Friday and have retreated to Los Ángeles de San Rafael for its traditional summer camp. João Félix is back in Madrid too, and it looks like the saga over where he ends up next season is going to rumble on all summer.

Reports have conflicted over the Portuguese’s next destination. Some have said a return on loan to Benfica is possible, while elsewhere, there are claims the 23-year-old has ‘chosen’ Paris Saint-Germain.

But before he actually decides his future, we have a summer of drama ahead.

Videos emerged of the Portuguese at training where he did not enter into the first 10 vs. 10 training game. Another video published on Diario As shows the cold shoulder treatment João gave to Simeone during the session. Another article published in Marca showed him having a heated debate with sporting director Andrea Berta.

João Félix has returned to Atlético with the feeling very much that the team has moved on without him following his unimpressive loan at Chelsea FC. Antoine Griezmann took his number 7 jersey during the summer, and Atlético played their best football since João arrived at the club...after he left in January.

It’s clear now that João was a victim of his own excellence with Benfica. Atlético just happened to have a windfall of cash that summer after big sales were made, and the club chose the Portugal international as the replacement for Griezmann — only for the Frenchman to return in 2021 and produce one of his best-ever seasons last year.

There are big clubs interested in João, but they are not willing to spend massive money on a player who has failed to live up to his billing. Likewise, Atlético are reluctant to part ways with the most expensive player in its history — especially at a discounted price.