Chelsea seal Felix deal as Portugal star joins on loan
Joao Felix has agreed to join Chelsea on loan until the end of the season.
Atletico Madrid made the Portuguese superstar available for a short-term departure and the Blues held off interest from rivals Arsenal to seal a deal worth a reported £9million.
Prior to agreeing the switch, the youngster extended his contract with Atleti by a further year, with his deal in the Spanish capital now running until the summer of 2027.
After arriving in West London, he told Chelsea’s official website: “Chelsea is one of the great teams in the world and I hope to help the team reach their objectives, so I am very, very happy to be here and very excited to play at Stamford Bridge.”
Felix, 23, has looked slightly out of place since arriving at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium from Benfica for a whopping £113m fee in 2019.
But he reminded the world of his talents with some superb performances during Portugal’s World Cup campaign in Qatar.
Chelsea boss Graham Potter has been desperate for reinforcements after seeing his side lose four of their last six Premier League outings and crash out of the FA Cup with a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Manchester City.
He will hope Felix, who has five goals and three assists in 20 games for Atleti this season, can help fashion chances for his stuttering forwards.
Felix is the 13th signing of Todd Boehly’s reign and the first since he stood down as interim sporting director to be replaced by Paul Winstanley and Christopher Vivell.
The move by Atleti to extend his contract before approving the deal suggests they still view the 28-cap international as an important part of their future.
With persistent rumours suggesting Diego Simeone will leave the club this summer, it appears any replacement would be tasked with making Felix a key part of their plans.