La Liga heavyweights Atletico Madrid is close to signing Benfica wonderkid Joao Felix. The Spanish outfit is expected to complete the big-money move as early as June 19, according to latest reports.
Following a stellar season with Benfica, Joao Felix has been heavily linked with a transfer away from the Portuguese Primeira side. The likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid are all believed to be keen on the signing of the 19-year-old although it is the latter that has apparently won the race.
Multiple reports from Spain and Portugal indicate that Los Rojiblancos have agreed to pay the 120 million euros (£107.5 million) release clause of the Portuguese prodigy who recorded 15 goals and nine assists in 26 league appearances last season.
In a relative development, Diego Simeone dropped a massive hint regarding the potential arrival of Joao Felix. In an interview with Fox Sports Argentina on Tuesday, the Atletico Madrid head coach stated that the young striker's recruitment is very much in line with his side's philosophy.
"Historically, Atletico buy young players to develop them here. Like what happened with [Jan] Oblak, [Jose] Gimenez, Lucas Hernandez when they came through from youth teams – or Griezmann," he said.
"We want a talented guy who can absorb our ideas. Our technical staff is already working on some situations to help to develop players.
"At this time we were preparing Oblak, Saul, Gimenez to make them the leaders of the new squad," Simeone added.
"They are not the same as they once were – you have to try to empower them and convince them.
"If Joao Felix and others come with different characteristics than we had before, then we will have to play differently.
"In training we will see where we are going ... It is clear that this year's challenge is one of the most complex since I arrived at the club."
According to AS, Atletico Madrid is expected to make Joao Felix's move official on Wednesday. On the other hand, the teenager is in line to become the fifth most-expensive signing in football history after Neymar Jr, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
He is also in line to become the second-most expensive teenager after Kylian Mbappe who joined PSG from AS Monaco for 180 million euros in 2018.