Joao Felix: Unai Emery Reveals Aston Villa Was Close to Signing Chelsea Star in January

Joao Felix: Unai Emery Reveals Aston Villa Was Close to Signing Chelsea Star in January

Elijah Odetokun
  • Chelsea paid £11m to sign Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season
  • The Portuguese had a fractious relationship with Diego Simeone and wanted out of Spain
  • Arsenal and Manchester United were also interested and another shock target has emerged

Chelsea had a crazy January transfer window where they spent over £300m signing eight players, including British record transfer Enzo Fernandez for £106.8m from Benfica on deadline day.

Portuguese attacker Joao Felix also made a loan switch to Chelsea from Atletico Madrid for an £11m fee after his relationship with Diego Simeone broke down. The Blues are covering his full £250,000 per week salary.

He has become an integral member of Graham Potter's squad though he started on the wrong foot, having been sent off on his debut and missed a month and three games.

Joao Felix, chelsea, UEFA Champions League, Signal Iduna Park.
Joao Felix warming up for Chelsea ahead of the Champions League game against Dortmund. Photo by Joe Prior.
Source: Getty Images

According to Goal, Arsenal and Manchester United were also interested in the 23-year-old but were put off due to his wages and Rojiblancos loan demands.

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Emery reveals Villa's interest in Felix

Chelsea will host Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in the late kickoff today. Villa boss Unai Emery opened up on how close the West Midlands club were to Felix in January, according to Birmingham Live.

“We are realistic about how we can improve, how we can add players to improve our squad. Joao Felix was not totally impossible for us, but he wanted to play for a team in the Champions League,” he said.
“He has a high salary, and he plays at Chelsea on loan. Chelsea paid a lot of money for that. He’s a very good player but we were never really in the running for him.”

Felix worried about Chelsea future

Sports Brief reported that Joao Felix wants to remain at Chelsea beyond the summer but is unsure what the future holds for him and where he will play next season.

Atletico reportedly demands £86m from Todd Boehly to make the move permanent, a fee that could get Chelsea in UEFA FFP hot waters.

Diego Simeone is also reported to be staying at the club till the end of his contract in 2024, a move which would make Felix's return to Wanda Metropolitano difficult.