Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal are the latest club to register interest in Atlético Madrid attacker João Félix, according to Fabrizio Romano and other reports Sunday.
The Portuguese is still an Atlético de Madrid player in name, but Romano reports he will not stay at the club. The 23-year-old, the club’s record signing at €126 million, returned to Atlético this summer after a spell on loan at Chelsea FC, but he has been looking for a way out of Madrid ever since.
Al Hilal approached João Félix— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 6, 2023
Saudi side prepared to offer even 1 year loan; player decides.
Understand Jorge Jesus called João several times.
Player’s priority remains Barcelona and Europe.
…but Al Hilal becomes option as one thing is sure: he will NOT stay at Atléti. pic.twitter.com/Q3dQaZnbY2
João returned to preseason training in July, where he almost immediately had a terse exchange with sporting director Andrea Berta and was forced to train with the reserves. He didn’t play a single minute of preseason action for Atlético this summer, and there is no way back for him at the club under Diego Simeone.
In a recent interview, João said he wanted to play for FC Barcelona, but at the moment it seems impossible for that to happen. Recent events might change that, with Paris Saint-Germain close to signing Ousmané Dembélé and midfielder Franck Kessié set to move to Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League.
Manchester United, Aston Villa, and João’s old club Benfica have also been linked with the player in recent weeks, but Saudi Arabia seems like a solution that suits all parties — especially economically. If the Portuguese really has played his last game for Atlético, he will have played in 8,676 minutes in 144 games across four seasons, which works out to 36 games per season. He scored 37 goals in that time, with 17 assists.
The most goals João scored in a single LaLiga season came in 2021-22 when he scored eight, and he finished with five assists in 2020-21 when Atlético won the league.