The recent arrival of Joao Félix to Barcelona has left more than one amazed, with the Portuguese forward showing his worth in the first meetings with the culés. However, what few know is that both Manchester United and Manchester City had the opportunity to sign the talented Atlético Madrid player during the summer, but chose not to do so.
Tensions between Joao Félix and his former coach at Atlético, Diego Simeone, became evident, and the attacker did not hide his desire to join Barcelona during the transfer season. His desire came true when he arrived at the Camp Nou on loan for a season, with the mission of filling the void left by Ousmane Dembélé, who left for Paris Saint-Germain.
The 2 big players in Europe who ruled out signing Joao Félix in the summer
Since his arrival in Barcelona, Joao Félix has made an immediate impact, contributing with three goals and two assists in five games in various competitions, including an outstanding double in the Champions League against Royal Antwerp. In just five appearances for Barcelona, Félix has surpassed his contribution in 20 games for Chelsea during the second half of the 2022-23 season, where he scored just four goals and provided no assists.
Despite his disappointing spell at Stamford Bridge, Manchester United showed interest in signing a new striker and considered reviving their interest in Joao Felix after losing the race for his signature in January. However, Paulo Futre, former Portuguese winger and former Atlético player, revealed that Félix’s agent, Jorge Mendes, was unable to persuade either Manchester United or Manchester City to take a chance on the young talent.
Futre explained in an interview with Cadena Ser’s El Larguero that when Joao expressed his desire to play for Barcelona, he believed it was Mendes’ work, but he denied it. Furthermore, he confirmed that Félix had spoken with Manchester United and Manchester City, but both clubs decided not to move forward with signing him.
The only Premier League team to show specific interest in Joao Félix was Aston Villa, but the player turned down the opportunity to join Unai Emery’s team.
Despite the disagreements between Joao Félix and Diego Simeone at Atlético, Paulo Futre suggests that the talented striker was not considered by other prominent coaches such as Mikel Arteta, Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp. The question that remains in the air is why? Joao Félix, at only 21 years old, has shown to have great potential and will continue to be a player to follow closely in his new stage with Barcelona.