FC Barcelona agreed to sign Joao Felix and hijack Chelsea loan

FC Barcelona have agreed to sign Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid, according to a report.

The agreement was concluded in January’s transfer window in 2022 says ASbut it never took off due to Barca’s struggle to navigate Financial Fair Play rules.

Miguel Angel Gil of the Spanish capital club and Barca sporting director Mateu Alemany led negotiations, it said.

They agreed an initial fee of €70 million ($75 million) for the Portuguese forward, but the total cost of the deal could almost double to €135 million ($144.7 million) with additional bonuses and if certain target was reached.

Had the transfer been allowed to go through, it would have represented a profit for Atleti who paid €126m ($135m) for Felix from Benfica in 2019.

The 23-year-old continued to struggle at the Metropolitano, struggling to adapt to head coach Diego Simeone’s style of play.

This saw him join Chelsea on loan until the end of the season last month, with the west Londoners paying €11m ($11.8m) to use him in the Champions League and in their bid to qualify for the competition next period from Premier.

Felix has made an impressive start to life at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea have an option to sign him permanently.

However, should they go through, Atleti will have him tied down to a newly renewed contract until 2027. Furthermore, SPORT believe that Atleti will not accept an offer for their most expensive signing.

Either way, losing Felix was a missed opportunity for Barca – who instead signed Ferran Torres for a fee of €55m ($59m) from Manchester City in the same window at the turn of 2022.

Like Felix at Atleti, Torres has not made the desired impact at Camp Nou and is currently Xavi Hernandez’s third- or fourth-choice winger in a four-man midfield system with room for just one wide player.

This has usually been Ousmane Dembele, and the Frenchman who suffered a thigh injury paved the way for Raphinha to shine in La Liga and on the continent.

On Thursday, the Brazilian scored and provided an assist in an exciting 2-2 draw against Manchester United in the Europa League, and should get the nod against Cadiz at home on Sunday.

In the summer, Torres is likely to be offloaded with Barca warned to shave €200 million ($214 million) off their wage bill by La Liga president Javier Tebas.

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