Man Utd ‘considering Felix loan bid’ as Ten Hag given reality check

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Manchester United are reportedly weighing up an offer to take Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid in January. Manager Erik ten Hag has seen his attacking options dwindle following Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Old Trafford, but the club’s owners may put the brakes on any significant spending after going over-budget in the summer. 

The chase for Felix is set to be a competitive one after an impressive World Cup run with Portugal. The silky forward’s individual performances caught the eye but Morocco eventually dumped them out of the competition with another surprise result. 

Atletico Madrid CEO Miguel Angel Gil Marin has publicly admitted that Felix wants to leave the Spanish capital amid claims that he does not get on with manager Diego Simeone. The Rojiblancos paid a huge £113million fee to take him from Benfica back in 2019 and they’ll be keen to recoup the majority of that money if he leaves in January.

According to ESPN, coughing up to meet the asking price is ‘problematic’ for United as club chiefs have informed Ten Hag that a new attacker is not guaranteed in January. 

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As such, the Red Devils are supposedly weighing up whether to compose a loan deal that would see Felix arrive at Old Trafford after the New Year with an obligation to sign permanently at the end of the season. That way, United could defer paying the hefty transfer fee for another few months. 

Ten Hag was granted a host of squad reinforcements during his first summer at the helm with the likes of Casemiro, Linsandro Martinez and Antony taking him significantly over-budget. Ronaldo recently left a vacancy to fill after his contract was terminated by mutual agreement following a controversial interview last month. 

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Felix won the prestigious Golden Boy award in 2019, crowning him the best Under-21 player on the planet at the time after a prolific season with Benfica. Although his goal-scoring exploits haven’t quite lived up to the hype with Atletico, he showed glimpses of his best form during Portugal’s run to the last eight in Qatar. 

“You know who he reminds me of? Ricardo Kaka,” former Premier League winner Nigel de Jong told ITV after Portugal’s 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland. “The way he plays. The way he picks players in. Between the lines. The runs that he makes. It’s so crucial for the passes that he made and the final passes. This link-up play was fantastic. Portugal have a bright future with these guys up top.”

If Atletico aren’t taken by United’s prospective loan offer, Ten Hag is thought to have several other options on his hit list. The issue is, however, that strong World Cup campaigns have seen price tags inflate ahead of the January transfer window. 

PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo was impressive for the Netherlands, Portugal hat-trick hero Goncalo Ramos put in an iconic performance against the Swiss and his team-mate, Rafael Leao, was impactful in virtually every game when coming off the bench. 

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