Move over Kylian Mbappe, because at just 19 years of age, the Portuguese youngster Joao Felix has suddenly become the hottest property in football. With the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Juventus, Liverpool and many more all scouting the attacking midfielder, it’s clear that Felix offers something a little special.
At the moment Joao Felix plays for the Portuguese club, Benfica
, who have just put a staggering £105 million price tag on the teenage star. But with Felix’s impressive performances helping Benfica win this year’s Primeira Liga, it seems that he could be tempted to join some of Europe’s biggest clubs in a very lucrative deal this summer.
Joao Felix was born in 1999 and he was snapped up by FC Porto at the age of eight. However, after seven years, the young player was released by Porto on account of being too small. Thankfully, Felix was quickly asked to join the Benfica team and made the Portuguese side’s reserve team in less than a year at the age of 16. This made Felix the youngest player ever to play for Benfica’s B-team and a key figure to watch for anybody interested in football
After a string of impressive results including a hat-trick against Famalicao, Felix was promoted to Benfica’s main team this season. It took the 18-year just one week to score his first Primeira Liga goal in the Lisbon derby. From here, Felix has put in some incredible performances such as in Benfica’s 4-2 victory over Sporting CP in February.
But Joao Felix’s big moment came in the Europa League where he scored a hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt. This made the 19-year old the youngest person ever to score three goals in a match in this competition and it quickly put Felix on the radar of all of the biggest European football clubs. From here, Felix has gone from strength to strength with 15 league goals and numerous valuable assists helping Benfica reclaim the Primeira League title.
What is Joao Felix’s playing style?
As part of the Benfica side, Joao Felix has proven to be an invaluable attacking midfielder who can also play the roles of a winger or striker. There have been many comparison to Benfica legends like Joao Pinto and Rui Costa, but in terms of player potential, Joao Felix is being thought of as being the next Cristiano Ronaldo
Felix has declared himself as being a massive fan of Ronaldo. The young star has already stated that the Juventus star is an idol and a world icon, and he would jump at the chance to play alongside his hero.
When Felix first join the Benfica ranks, he found himself in the playmaker role. But since Bruno Lage took over the head coach job, Felix has been transformed into a very effective striker. With an admirable talent for running at defenders, and an ability to manipulate the ball at will, Felix makes playing top-level football look easy. And with stunning pace and an endless creativity when it comes to scoring goals, it is little surprise that Felix has been mentioned in the same breath as Portuguese legends like Cristiano Ronaldo and Rui Costa.
Will Benfica really sell Joao Felix?
Given Joao Felix’s natural talents, it’s little surprise to find that Benfica gave the youngster a new contract in November 2018 to ensure that he stays at the Estadio da Luz. The contract includes an eye-watering £105 million release clause that would hope to keep Felix at Benfica until 2023.
Unless the release clause is activated, it’s clear that Benfica will be highly unwilling to let Felix go. This is especially so as the Portuguese club have already had to deal with talented youngsters such as Renato Sanches leaving for other European leagues.
Interestingly, Benfica’s president, Luis Filipe Vieira, has stated that the side are willing to try some unusual methods to cling on to Felix. These include an option of selling the young star to another side, but then including a clause that would see Felix return to Benfica on loan for one season.
Benfica have already increased the release clause from €60 million to €120 million. But with many of Europe’s top clubs making plans to offer Felix deals worth around £100,000 per week, it’s clear that these offers could prove to be just too tempting for the hugely promising player.
Which clubs could sign Joao Felix?
Such is the immense promise of Joao Felix that Europe’s biggest teams are falling over each other to sign the star. In the past couple of weeks, the internet has been ablaze with rumours stating that teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool are linked with the teenage phenomenon. Here’s a run-down of who could tempt Felix the most.
Of these teams, it seems as though Manchester United are the keenest to get Felix to join their ranks. Manchester United had a torrid season in 2018/19 and it’s clear that a talent like Joao Felix would be a huge boost to the Old Trafford faithful.
In May there were reports that Manchester United were prepared to pay the £105 million release clause and break the British transfer record for Felix. Plus with ongoing rumours that Paul Pogba could be on his way to Real Madrid, it seems that Felix could emerge as a key playmaker for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team.
However it seems that Manchester City are also desperate to sign Joao Felix. Whilst City have never spent more than £60 million on a player, it seems as though they are willing to break their own records this summer.
Pep Guardiola’s team have already tabled a bid that would give Felix a five-year contract worth £100,000 per week if he decides to come to the Etihad. But with the Manchester City team already brimming with talented playmakers like Kevin de Bruyne, it’s questionable as to whether a move here would give Felix enough playing time.
Whilst the super-clubs of Manchester are a tempting option for Felix, it seems that a move to Madrid could also be on the cards. Apparently Felix’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has sold the idea of moving to Atletico Madrid to the teenage star. This is because it is thought that Diego Simeone could offer a more nurturing environment for Felix to build his talents.
If Antoine Griezemann leaves Atletico Madrid, it would give the Spanish club plenty of money to play with and it’s easy to see how Felix could slot into the team. But if Felix is determined to make as big a splash as possible, he may opt for a bigger side.
Most football fans will know how Cristiano Ronaldo can instantly change things on the pitch. But it seems that the legend’s powers could also extend behind the scenes. This is because there have been news reports that Juventus are in ‘pole position’ to bring Felix to play alongside his hero.
The Juventus sporting director, Fabio Paratici, has already met up with Felix’s agent, and it’s clear that the Italian team will be looking for someone to fill Cristiano Ronaldo’s shoes in the next few years. Whilst Juventus don’t have the financial clout of clubs like Manchester City, Ronaldo’s influence might just be enough to tempt Felix to come to Italy.