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Aston Villa 'one of three options' for £113m attacker?

Villa emerge as surprise contenders for £113m attacker?
© Reuters
Aston Villa allegedly emerge as a surprise candidate to sign a forward that has previously cost £113m.

Aston Villa have allegedly emerged as a candidate in the race to sign Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix.

The Portugal international has been contracted to the Spanish giants since 2019 when he made the £113m switch from Benfica.

However, despite 34 goals and 18 assists coming from 131 appearances in all competitions, Atletico cannot claim to have gotten value for money from the versatile attacker.

Felix has spent the last 18 months on loan at Chelsea and Barcelona, with the 24-year-old chipping in with 10 goals and six assists from his 44 appearances for the latter.

In an ideal world, Barcelona would like to secure another season-long deal for Felix, but the club's finances are currently dictating that it is not a realistic possibility.

As a result, Atletico and Felix are in a position where they must consider alternatives for the 2024-25 campaign.

Barcelona's Joao Felix celebrates scoring against Atletico Madrid on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Three clubs in race for Felix

According to SPORT, there are three clubs who hold an interest in signing Felix, one of them being Premier League outfit Villa.

The report claims that the West Midlands side may possess the finances required to negotiate a permanent deal for Felix, his asking price said to be in the region of £20m.

Felix's only experience of English football came when he netted four goals from 20 appearances in a struggling Chelsea side in 2022-23.

Despite concerns over their status with the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability Rules, Villa have already added five players to their senior ranks.

Ian Maatsen, Samuel Iling-Junior, Enzo Barrenechea, Ross Barkley and Lewis Dobbin have all made the switch to Unai Emery's side.

Nevertheless, it is claimed that Emery is an admirer of Felix and would relish the chance to work with him, while his versatility would be an obvious benefit to Villa's ranks.

Germany coach Hansi Flick before the match on September 9, 2023© Reuters

Who are the other contenders?

While Barcelona are still mentioned as a contender, Benfica may be better placed to secure a reunion with Felix.

The Portuguese side have allegedly made a £12.5m bid for a player who generated just over £100m more five years ago.

Although that proposal is likely to be rejected, an improved bid may be made in due course, with Felix potentially viewing a return to his former club as the ideal move to kick-start his career.

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