Atlético was at a crossroads with its most expensive signing in history. João Félix doesn’t want to stay at Atlético. The red and white team and Cholo Simeone doesn’t want the Portuguese. The situation seemed obvious: look for a way out.
The problem comes after coming to the conclusion of the need to get the player out of the club. Who could pay João? How much money would Atlético de Madrid be willing to lose? The red and white team lives in the utopia of getting a high amount for the player and believed that they could get a higher transfer than any team would be willing to spend.
This is the moment in which the Portuguese player is making contacts and, in an interview with Fabrizio Romano, he makes it clear that his desire would be to leave for FC Barcelona. Why FC Barcelona? There is an obvious answer and it isn’t João’s childhood desire. The key is Jorge Mendes.
The agent has a great relationship with Laporta and is looking to pull on that bond so that the Catalans are interested in the playmaker. If your player has no market, you have to move him so that clubs want him.
These statements woke up the Culés directors and the moves to bring João in have begun. For Xavi, João wasn’t a necessity, but he could be a great sporting bet.
FC Barcelona, due to the financial situation that has been dragging on for the last few years, can’t access the world’s top talents, and it is worth remembering that, for João Félix, they paid 126 million euros four seasons ago. It is a footballer profile that the ‘Culés’ could not even dream of signing if everything had worked out after his departure from Benfica. The talent is still there.
If Xavi continues to opt for the square in midfield, the Portuguese could fit into that last step, arriving on the edge of the box and demonstrating his talent when it comes to making the final pass. 18 assists with Atlético de Madrid, which could easily be twice as many if the striker accompanying him, Morata in most situations, was accurate in his finishing.
It is true that he doesn’t have the defensive work required in that position and that Gavi shows, and he hasn’t shown the numbers in front of goal that Gündoğan has, but he has the potential.
He is a player who raises a lot of doubts, which is logical, and who has shown an immaturity off the field that, on many occasions, is transferred to the pitch.
Even so, he seems to me to be a resource that Barça is right to bet on as a market opportunity, which, if you get him to work, can take you to another offensive level and, if the Catalan club continues with the same attitude as with ‘Cholo’, next year you can get rid of him.
We’ll see who ends the season more happy: Xavi after managing to exploit this new resource or Simeone getting rid of him.
Translated by Marcos Rodríguez.
Main image: @FCBarcelona_es.