A story that made headlines this summer involved Liverpool’s reported interest in swapping Darwin Nunez for Joao Felix, a deal that was said to have been on the table but ultimately did not materialize.
In a surprising turn of events, Joao Felix opted to reject not just Liverpool but also Manchester United in his quest to secure a ‘dream’ loan move to Barcelona.
Joao Felix, the Portuguese sensation, arrived at Atletico Madrid in 2019 with massive expectations.
His €126 million transfer fee from Benfica made him one of the most expensive signings in football history.
However, despite flashes of brilliance and moments of individual brilliance, Felix struggled to consistently cement his place in Diego Simeone’s lineup.
The highly demanding and defensively-oriented system at Atletico did not always allow Felix to express his attacking flair to the fullest.
As the 2020-21 season progressed, Felix’s unhappiness at the Wanda Metropolitano became increasingly evident.
While he certainly showed glimpses of his immense talent, his inconsistent performances and struggles to adapt to Simeone’s system led to speculation about his future at the club.
Liverpool reportedly saw an opportunity to add a talented young attacker to their squad. It was widely reported that the Reds were willing to offer Uruguayan striker Darwin Nunez as part of a swap deal to acquire Joao Felix’s services.
Nunez, who had been impressive at Benfica and was attracting attention from several top clubs, seemed like an attractive prospect for Atletico Madrid.
The proposed swap deal would have allowed both clubs to address their needs. Liverpool would have gained a dynamic attacking option in Felix, while Atletico could have potentially replaced Felix’s creativity with Nunez’s goal-scoring prowess.
Despite the opportunity to move to a club of Liverpool’s stature, Joao Felix had his heart set on a different destination: Barcelona. Reports suggest that Felix was determined to secure a move to the Catalan giants, a club he had admired since his youth.
This determination led him to reject not only Liverpool’s advances but also Manchester United’s interest.