Plot thickens over future of Arsenal, Man Utd striker target after being dropped from squad by LaLiga giants

Yannick Carrasco, Joao Felix and Thomas Lemar during Atletico Madrid training session. in Majadahonda, Spain Credit: Alamy

Arsenal and Manchester United target Joao Felix was left out of Atletico Madrid’s squad for their 2-0 win over Real Oviedo in the Copa del Rey, leading to increased speculation over his future.

Rojiblancos manager Diego Simeone recently admitted that the Portugal international could leave the club in the winter window, with the Gunners currently believed to be leading the race.

Felix is ​​also reportedly keen on a move to the Premier League, so this latest development seems to have only increased the likelihood of that happening in the near future.

The Portugal international has been a key player for Atletico since joining the club for a club record fee of £111m. in 2019. However, it looks like his time in LaLiga is coming to an end soon.

Despite some moments of brilliance, Felix has never quite lived up to his hefty price tag at the Metropolitano: in 129 appearances in all competitions for Atletico, Felix has scored 33 goals and contributed 18 assists.

While this is a decent return, you would expect him to be one of the top scorers in the Spanish top flight every year for a club record, something that has never really materialized.

As a result, Felix now does not appear to be part of Simeone’s future plans, as he looks to rebuild his squad with several new additions.

In fairness, some of the blame must go to Simeone, who has employed a rigid defensive system at Atletico throughout his tenure in charge.

While this has been effective for the club as a whole, it has never been the right way to make the most of Felix’s abilities.

However, Mikel Arteta and Erik ten Hag must believe he can offer a lot more to them as they have both put him at the top of their transfer shortlists.

Arsenal are still the big favorites to land Felix despite United’s pursuit

Arsenal have enjoyed an excellent start to their Premier League campaign, currently sitting eight points clear at the top of the table after winning 14 of their 17 games so far.

Indeed, their fine form could be a contributing factor to Felix’s ultimate destination should he leave Atletico this month, as he will undoubtedly play in the Champions League next season.

United are also flying high at the moment but are currently in fourth place after winning their last four games. So it could simply end up being Felix’s choice which of the two Premier League giants he chooses to join should a viable offer be made by either of them.

But as reported by TEAMtalk on Wednesday, Arsenal look the most likely to get a deal over the line for Felixdespite Man United pushing hard to sign him.

The Gunners are believed to have a ‘secret weapon’ in negotiations in the form of Thomas Partey, who knows Felix well from their time together at Atletico, so Arteta intends to use that connection to convince Felix to go to the Emirates.

Atletico reportedly value Felix at around £87m so will demand a hefty transfer fee. But if Arteta believes he will be enough to ensure the Gunners lift their first league title since 2004, it will be a price worth paying.

READ MORE: Key Arsenal star with qualities Pep Guardiola loves tipped for shock Man City switch

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