Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has refused to rule out the possibility of transfer-record signing Joao Felix leaving the club in January.
The 22-year-old has struggled to consistently replicate his best form since Atletico smashed their transfer record to sign the forward from Benfica for $142 million in 2019.
Injuries and increased competition also mean he has found regular first-team opportunities limited this term, sparking rumors of an exit during the winter window.
FourFourTwo cites Spanish reports that English side Liverpool could be preparing a cut-price offer of $83 million for the talented attacker.
Simeone wants more from Joao Felix
Felix’s struggles this season have been exacerbated by an ankle injury suffered while playing for Portugal at Euro 2021 that caused him to miss the start of the season, before picking up a calf problem in November.
The summer signings of Matheus Cunha and Antoine Griezmann further limited his opportunities, with Felix making just six starts in all competitions so far, scoring just once.
When asked whether the forward would look to secure a move away from the club next month, Simeone told a news conference: “I always understand everything, I’m open to everything.
“The most important thing is the team. Joao is an important piece of our team.”
However Simeone did also appear to offer Felix an olive branch, revealing how impressed he was with his second-half substitute appearance against Real Madrid last weekend in a 2-0 La Liga loss.
“He has to repeat performances like the one he gave the other day at the Bernabeu,” Simeone added. “He played 30-35 minutes and showed all the talent he has. Let’s hope he repeats it, because that’s the player we need.”
“I’ve spoken a lot with him. I don’t have anything to explain to you about what needs to be worked on inside.
“Seeing Joao for just a few minutes, you realize he’s a great player. He’s going through a situation of growth, we’ve seen it with Portugal and maybe here, too. It’s about maturing and growing to find the consistency that football demands.”
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