Atletico break records with Joao Felix acquisition; David de Gea to sign new contract at Old Trafford
Atletico Madrid made their most expensive acquisition ever when they signed Benfica striker Joao Felix for a transfer fee of €126 million, i.e. £112 million.
At 19-years the Portuguese teenager became the fifth-most expensive player in history surpassed only by Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
The Portuguese teenager also becomes the second most expensive teenager of all time after French star Mbappe, who moved from Monaco to PSG for a fee of £170 million a year ago. Felix made a remarkable debut for Benfica, scoring 15 goals in the 2018-19 Primeira Liga season and his hattrick against Eintracht Frankfurt made him the first teenager ever to achieve such a feat in the Europa League.
With Antoine Griezmann having left Atletico this summer, the Madrid club was on the lookout for a capable striker and believe to have found one in Felix. Felix is also an internationally capped player having made his debut for Portugal with Switzerland earlier this year in the UEFA European Nations League. Although he plays primarily as a striker, his versatility on the wings and as an attacking midfielder have made him a well-moulded forward with comparisons already being made to Cristiano Ronaldo.
News emanating from Old Trafford is that goalkeeper David De Gea has been offered a whopping £350,000-a-week to stay at United.
The 28-year old Spaniard has been locked in negotiations with the United management for the past 18 months while rumors flew thick and fast of an imminent move to Real Madrid. De Gea believes he deserves to be paid in the same bracket as the likes of Alexis Sanchez after being named the club’s player of the year on numerous occasions. If De Gea opts not to sign a new contract at United, he would become a free agent next summer. Fans and coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be desperate for the goalkeeper to stay on at Old Trafford, despite a series of uncharacteristic errors towards the end of last season.
Meanwhile there's pressure from Red Devils fans on the Glazer family to quit from the club if the £70 million bid for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire were to go through. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Maguire in United, but the general opinion going around is that £70 million is too high a figure for the English international. Maguire struggled at the UEFA Nations League this summer and Manchester United fans are not very impressed with the center-back. Interestingly, Leicester are believed to want around £80 million for Maguire. Manchester United have so far signed two players Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, spending a total of £65 million on them.
United have probably lost out on the opportunity to sign 19-year old Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt with Juventus gunning for the Dutch back. The Serie A champions have submitted an offer of £58 million for a five-year contract at the Allianz Stadium. The £58 million bid is way short of the £67 million Ajax is asking for De Ligt, but it is the youngster’s desire to secure a switch to Italy that may hold sway.
Despite his age, the Dutch teenager is one of the finest center-backs in the game already and he would have been an ideal answer to United's defensive crisis, but De Ligt looks destined to be heading for Italy.
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