Exclusive: ‘Portugal’s Atlético Madrid’ sent warning to Man Utd about signing him

Next month, Man Utd will need a new forward, and Joao Felix of Atletico Madrid may be an alternative.

As Manchester United looks to add a striker next month, the possibilities are scarce.

Last summer, United supported Erik ten Hag with record investment, and club officials have often emphasized that the team is further along in its rebuild than they anticipate at this point.

Given United’s limited resources and the selling sides’ knowledge that they can increase their asking price, January is the month in which desperate clubs conduct business, which alone confirms the group of players United will seek.

It indicates that the team is evaluating possibilities that are mostly on loan rather than trying to sign a forward to a permanent contract during the mid-season transfer window

While Joao Felix is pushing to leave Atletico Madrid after having a falling out with manager Diego Simeone, Memphis Depay is a possibility as he approaches the final months of his contract at Barcelona.

It implies that United may need to pursue players who don’t quite suit their ideal profile for a striker in addition to finding quick fixes.

With Anthony Martial’s versatility through the middle, Ten Hag has played some of his best football this season, but there is a growing suspicion that in the long run, he would prefer to have a physical alternative to draw upon in his front three.

Given that Felix would need to be inserted into the United attack and has never truly flourished as a major striker in his career, it is of particular interest with reference to a move for him.

You merely need to ask Felix to get an idea of the kind of player he is. He is a young player who idolized artistic midfielders as opposed to goal-scoring strikers when he was growing up.

He told BTV three years ago, “I particularly admired Kaká, and after seeing many of his movies, ones in which Rui Costa also starred, he also became one of the players I most liked to see play. “For me, these two have always served as examples. Do what Rui Costa accomplished; it’s hard to win what he won, but I’m going to strive to match or perhaps surpass him in this endeavor.”

The young player’s beautiful approach to the game earned him comparisons to Johan Cruyff during his formative years at Benfica, however club veteran António Simes cautioned that there was still much work to be done before the prince could be compared to a king.

The 23-year-old has started just two games this season as a designated striker, both times working in a two-pronged assault with Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata.

He has opted to play the second striker position throughout his career, acting as a more skilled attacking midfielder behind a main attacking threat.

This has been the case ever since he had his debut at Benfica, when Haris Seferovic was the primary offensive force and Felix had a fantastic breakout season, scoring double his own goal of 20 goals in 43 appearances.

It implies that Felix would perform best if he joined United playing in a position akin to the one that is now held by his pal Bruno Fernandes. The Atlético player has great admiration for his countryman, who was a hard domestic opponent of his when he played for Sporting.

At the international level, Fernando Santos avoided that situation by lining up beside a well-known center-forward, such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Goncalo Ramos, but it would not help United when they need a new striker in a month.

Felix like to play between the lines and frequently finds space on the periphery of the box rather than within it, as opposed to being a player who lurks in the six-yard box and plays between the posts.

He tends to wander out wide when attacking, like many other forwards at the club, and enjoys trying long shots, therefore he doesn’t always fit the mold of a real striker.

The Portuguese forward, who has played three full seasons in Spain, has never scored more than 10 goals and has mostly served as a backup option rather than a regular threat in the forward line. He isn’t the most sensible choice if United’s main goal is to increase their offensive production.

However, Ten Hag has been willing to use this season his ability to press and defend from the front, which does work in his favor. Felix is a natural on either foot, which expands his options for attacking as well as giving him the flexibility to play wherever along the front line if necessary.

Everything will ultimately depend on what Ten Hag wants for next month. He won’t be able to afford the precise player he wants, so Felix should be taken into consideration as an alternative.

Even while he may not enjoy being the line leader in the center, he could be crucial to their chances this season.

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