Done deal: João Felix heading to Atletico Madrid for £107million
It’s done. Business completed. João Felix is heading to Atletico Madrid, simply pending formalities.
Astronomical fees were required to take Benfica’s prized asset away from the club, but Atletico have swept in, willing to pay the €120million release clause and taking the decision out of the hands of Benfica.
The Lisbon club had hoped to increase Felix’s termination clause to €200million, but Atletico have moved to complete the signing before Benfica were able to do so.
Although Benfica released a statement vehemently denying reports that they were negotiating the sale of Felix, ultimately it never came to that, with Atletico simply willing to pay the release clause.
The move smashes the Portuguese transfer record for most expensive sale from the Primeira Liga, the €120million being paid dwarfing the €50million fee paid by Real Madrid for Porto’s Eder Militao earlier this season.
Not only does it see Felix become the most expensive signing from the Primeira Liga, it also sees him become the most expensive Portuguese player in history - topping the €105million paid for Cristiano Ronaldo by Juventus last summer.
He is also the 5th most expensive player in footballing history too - only Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philipe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele cost more, meaning that Felix becomes a more expensive player than the likes of Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale, in addition to Real Madrid legend Ronaldo.
TVI have advanced the news, and have reported that Jorge Mendes will receive 10% of the fee - in total 12 million euros - while Porto, who Felix represented at a very young age at youth level, are entitled to 1% (€1.2million).
Manchester City were the other club believed to be willing to invest heavily in the 19-year old, but Atletico have ultimately won the race.
Having already sold Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich for €80million and set to sell Griezmann for €120million, Atletico are looking to rebuild their squad for the new season.
Felix had an outstanding debut season with Benfica, scoring 15 and assisting 9 in 26 league outings as he thrilled the Benfica faithful.
His performances were of such a high level that Portugal manager Fernando Santos opted to call up the teenager for the UEFA Nations League finals and gave him his debut against Switzerland in the semi-final of the inaugural competition.
That Portugal manager has already given his thoughts on a potential move for Felix, stating in no uncertain terms that he felt the 19-year old was best suited to staying at Benfica for another season, citing Renato Sanches as an example of the error it could be to leave too soon.