MANCHESTER UNITED have received a boost in their pursuit of Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix, according to reports.
However, he has started just seven of the Spanish side’s 14 matches in all competitions this season.
It is causing friction between Felix and his >Diego Simeone.
And according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the player’s agent Jorge Mendes is now searching for a route out of the club in 2023.
But Atletico are keen to stand firm, refusing to accept anything less than his release clause – which is worth £304million.
Speaking on his “Here We Go” podcast, he revealed: “The situation is tense between Joao Felix and Atletico Madrid, especially between Joao Felix and Diego Simeone, of course, because he’s not a starter, he’s not playing a lot.
“The reality is that on Atletico Madrid’s side they insist Joao Felix is not for sale and a key player for Atletico Madrid.
“They want the release clause in his contract which is 350 million euros (£304m). They have no intention to negotiate.
“But the reality is that on the player’s side – with agent Jorge Mendes – they are trying and exploring the market to find some potential solutions for 2023.”
Felix arrived at Atletico from Benfica in 2019 for a whopping £113m.
He has not yet lived up to the enormous price tag the Spanish giants paid, contributing 29 goals and 18 assists in 123 appearances.
And Atletico may be willing to cut their losses, although it is thought a transfer in the summer is more likely than in January.
It was reported earlier this week that Felix has “lost his patience” with Atletico boss Simeone.
He has played less than 30 minutes across their last four matches.
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