'Nobody wanted Joao': Manchester United and Man City rejected Felix before Barca transfer, reveals ex-Atletico star
Manchester United and Manchester City reportedly did not want to sign Joao Felix during the summer transfer window.
After capping off his stint at Chelsea last season, Portuguese winger Joao Felix joined Barcelona on a loan move from Atletico Madrid on the summer transfer deadline day. Former Atletico Madrid and Portugal footballer Paulo Futre has claimed that Felix was initially offered to Premier League giants—Manchester United and their city rivals - Manchester City. However, neither of the Premier League clubs were interested in acquiring the services of Felix, according to Futre.
"When Joao said he dreamed of playing for Barca I began to live a nightmare that lasts to this day. I called him [Mendes] and told him that the statements that Joao had made were his doing and he said no. We argued on the phone and he told me that he had spoken to Manchester United. I verified what he told me because I have friends and it was true. Later he had spoken with Manchester City, I also checked and they didn’t want Joao either,” Futre told Cadena Ser.
"What happened between Joao and Cholo [Diego Simeone] happens every day in football. It’s something normal. What is not normal is that phenomenal coaches knew that Joao was a genius (…) he entered their game system, but nobody wanted him. Neither Arteta, nor Guardiola, nor Klopp, any club… My question is why? The only team that has wanted him has been Aston Villa. Joao said no when there was an agreement between Atleti and Aston Villa at the beginning of July,” the 57-year-old added.
The move to join Barcelona has so far proved to be quite fruitful for Felix. The 23-year-old has till now registered three goals and two assists having made four appearances for the Catalan giants. In his last Barcelona appearance, Felix came up with a vital assist as Xavi’s men clinched a 3-2 win against Celta Vigo in La Liga. In his Champions League debut for Barcelona, Felix recorded a brace and an assist against Belgian side Royal Antwerp.
Joao Felix’s Barcelona loan will run until the end of the season and it does not include options to make the move a permanent one. Felix emerged as Atletico Madrid's record signing after signing for the La Liga club in a €126 million ($137m) move from Portuguese side Benfica four years back in July.
But Felix’s stay at Atletico Madrid did not turn out to be quite fruitful. Having played 131 games for Atletico Madrid, Felix managed to find the back of the net 34 times. Apart from Joao Felix, his Portuguese teammate Joao Cancelo joined Barcelona on a loan move on the summer transfer deadline day.