Chelsea confirm signing of Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Portugal star Joao Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season.

The Blues have paid a reported loan fee of £9million to bring the 23-year-old to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea do not have the option to make the loan deal permanent with Felix extending his contract at Atletico to 2027 prior to making the switch to west London.

He becomes the club’s fourth signing of the January window following the arrivals of Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos.

‘Chelsea is one of the great teams in the world and I hope to help the team reach their objectives, so I am very, very happy to be here and very excited to play at Stamford Bridge,’ Felix said.

Felix became the second most expensive teenager in world football after Kylian Mbappe when he joined Atletico from Benfica in 2019 in a deal worth €120million.

While having shown flashes of promise, the versatile forward has struggled to develop into the world star many predicted he would under Diego Simeone.

The relationship between the player and manager grew strained during the 2022-23 season where Felix started just seven of Atletico’s 16 league matches.

Atletico initially sought a permanent transfer for the player this month, demanding a reported fee of around €100m. But with no takers, a loan move was explored.

Both Manchester United and Arsenal discussed a move for the player, with both sides eager to add to their attacking options this month.

But however were unwilling to meet Atletico’s demands for a loan fee, having also asked for Felix’s entire salary, thought to be £250,000-per-week, to be covered until the end of the season.

Chelsea are languishing in 10th place in the Premier League, 10 points off the top four. Having already brought in four players, their spending might not be over this month with a move for striker Marcus Thuram also being discussed.

Graham Potter’s side have struggled for goals this season and are the lowest scorers in the top 20 with league leaders Arsenal scoring twice as many.

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