Joao Felix sends clear message to Mauricio Pochettino over his Chelsea future
Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix has made it clear he would like to extend his stay at Chelsea after enjoying his half season on loan at Stamford Bridge.
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The Portugal international arrived in January after the Blues agreed to pay a massive loan fee – believed to be in the region of £10million – and has netted three times in 14 appearances.
Despite his modest return, Felix has won plenty of admirers at Stamford Bridge and delivered some lively performances, though he has lost his place in the side more recently under interim boss Frank Lampard.
Chelsea are currently weighing up making the move permanent, though Atletico are thought to be demanding €100million (£86.8m).
Incoming boss Mauricio Pochettino will be given the final say over all incomings and outgoings this summer and had wanted to cast his eye over players in pre-season before making any decisions.
He will not get that opportunity with Felix, however, who only has two games left in a Chelsea shirt before he returns to Madrid – but the 23-year-old is clearly keen to remain in west London beyond the end of this month.
Asked if he would like to stay at Chelsea beyond the end of the season, Felix said at a recent Hublot event at the club’s training ground: ‘I don’t know yet my future.
‘But these four or five months, I love it.
‘It’s a top club. Everyone in the club was very good to me, my team-mates [have been] unbelievable. And I really like to be here.’
Felix made an inauspicious start to his Chelsea career, getting sent off against Fulham in what had been a very encouraging debut until that point, but netted on his return against West Ham at the start of February.
He has also scored against Everton and Bournemouth but failed to register a single assist, while he has only started one of Chelsea’s last six Premier League matches under Lampard.
Explaining Felix’s lack of minutes, Lampard revealed that he had struggled to find a role for the Portuguese attacker: ‘There’s no doubt he has huge talent, that is really visible in training daily in those moments showing what he can do around the box.
‘I think probably for me coming in I need to find a clear structure and a clear off-the-ball idea for how we work, and that’s the challenge with Joao.
‘If you ask him also he’s not definite [about his best position] – he wants to play here but he can also play here – which can be a plus at times but when he’s not definitely a nine, I need what looks like nine, for me, for the way I want to play. Those are the things that Joao needs to show, whether it’s here or wherever his future is, I don’t know that.’
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