Manchester United are reportedly one of several Premier League clubs who have enquired about Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix as the January transfer window fast approaches.
According to Spanish outlet AS, the Red Devils are interested in securing the highly-rated 22-year-old’s services over the coming months, although there is set to be a four-way tussle for his signature.
The report states that fierce rivals Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle United are also keen to prise Felix away from the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, with the Magpies currently offering the highest fee following their Saudi-backed takeover.
Felix burst onto the scene during 2018/19 after rising through the ranks at Benfica, scoring 20 goals and providing a further 11 assists in just 43 appearances as he fired the Eagles to the Primeira Liga title.
His outstanding exploits for the capital club saw him claim the Golden Boy award at the end of the year, awarded to the most promising player under the age of 21, seeing off competition from Jadon Sancho and Kai Havertz.
It capped a magnificent year for the Portugal international, who also became the fifth most expensive player in history behind Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele after sealing a €126 million (£113m) switch to Atleti in July 2019.
However, the youngster has struggled to replicate his best form since switching to Spain, replicating his goals and assists output from his Benfica days in over double the number of outings.
Despite his struggles, though, Felix has still shown flashes of his truly world-class potential, with manager Diego Simeone hailing a particularly eye-catching display as “complete”, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp dubbed him “outstanding” ahead of a Champions League clash.
But there is no denying the fact that the £63m-rated gem has fallen down Simeone’s pecking order at Los Rojiblancos over the last 18 months.
During Atleti’s title-winning campaign last term, Felix started just 14 La Liga fixtures, and the return of Antoine Greizzman has seen his game time reduced even further this time around, opening the door to an imminent exit.
A fresh start at United under the tutelage of Ralf Rangnick could be the ideal scenario to get Felix’s career back on track then, and there’s no doubt he could flourish once more at Old Trafford due to the German tactician’s reputation with young stars.