BREAKING NEWS: Joao Felix dropped by Chelsea as new manager Mauricio Pochettino tells club not to return £15m loan in ruthless first move – and Atletico confirm: ‘He’s coming back’
- Chelsea won’t sign loanee Joao Felix permanently, it has been confirmed
- New manager Mauricio Pochettino has given up a permanent contract
- The news will come as a blow to the 23-year-old striker, who was ‘desperate’ to stay
Chelsea will not sign loanee Joao Felix on a permanent deal this summer.
The Atletico Madrid striker joined the Premier League side on loan in January and has featured 20 times in all competitions, scoring four goals and registering no assists.
And new manager Mauricio Pochettino has already decided he doesn’t want to agree a permanent £15m deal for the Portuguese star.
In a ruthless first move, the Argentine dumped the player signed by Atletico for £114million – the fourth most expensive transfer ever – in 2019.
Atletico president Enrique Cerezo has confirmed the Blues won’t take the opportunity to sign Felix, adding he will return to the Spanish capital.
Joao Felix has been dropped by Chelsea in a ruthless move by new boss Mauricio Pochettino
He joined the Blues on loan from Atletico Madrid in January and has scored four goals in 20 games.
But in a ruthless first move as new boss, Mauricio Pochettino ditched the Portuguese
Cerezo told the Spanish outlet AS: ‘Yesterday we learned that the new manager of Chelsea (Pochettino) does not (want) João Félix.
“We have known for less than 24 hours. He will come back here and we will see. We have nothing planned.
The news will be a blow to the talented 23-year-old, who has spoken openly about his desire to stay in west London and was “desperate” to continue his career there.
He said, “I don’t know my future yet. But these four, five months, I loved it. It’s a top club, everyone in the club has been very good to me. My incredible teammates. I really like being here.
Felix admitted he preferred the attacking and creative freedom he gets at Chelsea, in a clear dig against defensive-minded Atletico boss Diego Simeone.
Although his contract was extended for four years, until 2027, before his loan deal at the Blues was confirmed, he is out of favor with Simeone and Atletico despite his troublesome return.
The club have imposed a price tag of £87million on his head and are keen to recoup that amount before sanctioning a permanent sale this summer.
The Portuguese international with 30 caps has nine goals in all competitions this season: four for Chelsea, five for Atletico.
That tally is similar to his totals in his previous three seasons at Atletico – nine, 10 and 10 – but it’s still a disappointing return for someone of such obvious talent and given his huge price tag.
Pochettino has a huge tray at Chelsea and will be tasked with cutting the club’s huge wage bill and bloated squad as they aim to comply with Financial Fair Play rules – and Felix is obviously not part of his plans .
Felix, who wants to play Champions League football next season, dismissed claims he would join Newcastle United at the end of the season last week with an Instagram response.
But when Portuguese outlet Eleven Sports posted the story on Instagram, with a picture of Felix mocked up in a Newcastle shirt, he fired back, calling them “a bunch of know-it-alls!” The comment has over 4,000 likes from other football fans.
As reported by Sports Mail On Friday, pundit Gary Neville balked at Chelsea’s failure to include an option to buy Felix’s loan deal after Manchester United’s 4-1 win over the Blues on Thursday.