Reports in Marca last week suggested Aston Villa were “very well positioned” to sign Portugal and Athletico Madrid forward Joao Felix in the coming months.
Athletico bought Felix from Benfica in 2019 for a club record fee of €127m, but it’s believed the 23-year-old and manager Diego Simeone no longer see eye to eye.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein echoed earlier rumblings of a potential deal, and suggested that Menedes was “pushing” for a Villa move.
Villa’s reported interest in Felix came as a surprise, given the player’s pedigree, and on December 11, Fabrizio Romano said that Athletico would seek “more than €100m” as compensation, which would effectively put the Birmingham club out of the running.
Further, the initial story by Marca suggests the player is not interested in a move to Villa due to the club’s lack of “substance and history”.
Another option for Aston Villa in January
Villa may not be in Felix, but it’s likely the club look to sign a forward in the January transfer window.
Ollie Watkins’ finishing ability has been called into question — the forward has 13 goals in his last 49 league matches and only two goals this season — and Danny Ings, although a better finisher than Watkins, is lacking in other areas.
A more realistic option for Villa is Marcus Thuram, who has 10 goals in 15 Bundesliga matches this season for Borussia Monchengladbach.
The forward — a member of the France camp preparing for the World Cup Final on Sunday — is said to be admired by Emery, who tried to sign him while at Villareal.
Emery is said to be “desperate” to bring Thuram to Birmingham and it’s believed the Frenchman could be had for a cut-rate price.
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