Arsenal and Manchester United transfer target dropped after he refuses to return to training

The Premier League pair continue to circle for the star

Arsenal and Manchester United January target Joao Felix has been dropped by Atletico Madrid for their Copa Del Rey clash with Real Oviedo amid continuing speculation that his future could lie away from the Wanda Metropolitano this winter.

Felix has failed to live up to expectations since his record move to the Spanish capital from Benfica in 2019, and has had several fallings out with head coach Diego Simeone over both his gametime and the playing style used by the rojablanca, which has a tendency to minimalise the impact of attackers.

It has led to the possibility of the Spanish outfit cashing in on their 23-year-old talent after a good World Cup with Portugal raised his stock once more. And for his part, Felix is thought to be keen, with Spanish outlet Relevo claiming that “he has not returned to training after the match against Elche, alleging muscular discomfort. His intention is not to force anything and not risk an injury that could put any operation at risk.”

It has previously been reported that the Rojablanco are believed to be asking for a total package of 21m euros (£18.6m) for the player to depart, which includes a £13m loan fee for the final five months of the season. It comes amid interest from across the Premier League, with all of Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea thought to be keen on a move should the price come down to a more reasonable level.

And, as per Relevo, the Red Devils have blinked first, offering 4m euros as a loan fee for the youngster, though that remains well below the valuation set by Simeone’s side. Atletico, they add, are demanding almost triple that value, though that may come down as the transfer deadline looms.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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