Joao Felix is close to saying goodbye to Atletico Madrid; Robin Gosens is on the outs at Inter Milan; Jude Bellingham, Florentino Perez are ready to step things up. Here are some of the major stories over the last few days of the transfer market from TribalFootball’s transfer expert Rudy Galetti.
JOAO FELIX GOODBYE TO ATLETICO MADRID? PSG AND MAN UNITED ARE INTERESTED
For weeks now, João Félix would have packed his bags and left Atletico Madrid, dissatisfied with the environment and with his relationship – increasingly cracked – with Cholo Simeone. That’s why the 22-year-old striker would like to relaunch his career elsewhere and a farewell at the end of the season with the Colchoneros, at the moment, seems to be taken for granted.
In Europe there are currently two clubs keeping an eye on the Portuguese player: PSG and Manchester United. On the French side, they have been looking for a real number 9 for some time now, also pushed by Kylian Mbappé who’s still unsatisfied with the position that Christophe Galtier reserves him on the pitch. Not surprisingly, last summer, PSG asked for information for Robert Lewandowski and Gianluca Scamacca, without however enough conviction. The reason – now – seems clear: PSG would like to bet everything on João Félix and, taking advantage of this difficult moment in relations with Atlético Madrid, the Spanish club could lower the price tag of the forward, whose contract expires in 2026.
The excellent relations between Luis Campos and his agent, Jorge Mendes, could also facilitate the agreements on personal terms, despite the current huge salary (around €14,6m per season). Beware, however, that Manchester United are sit on the fence: after having tried a “light” approach already in the summer, the English club is still monitoring Joao Felix, even if a move as early as January seems unlikely. Before any action, in fact, the Red Devils must first solve the situation of Cristiano Ronaldo: only since that moment, they will be able to think about the incoming market.
GRIMALDO FUTURE IN BLACK AND WHITE: SERIE A OR PREMIER LEAGUE?
We had already talked about it a few weeks ago: Alex Grimaldo is at the top of Juventus’ wish list. After the 4-3 loss against Benfica and the consequent elimination from the Champions League, the Bianconeri have intensified relations with the player’s entourage, so much so that they are ready to make a first contractual proposal to the Spanish left-back.
However, the Italian club is not the only one interested in Grimaldo: we had said that Inter, Napoli, Manchester City and Arsenal were following the player as well, but now – in the race for the Spaniard – also Newcastle have entered with a great determination.
The Magpies coach really appreciates the Spaniard and the fact that Eddie Howe and Grimaldo have the same agent could be a plus for Newcastle. The player, as already reported, has communicated to his current club that he wants to leave Portugal to start a new experience elsewhere and certainly the charm of the Premier League could satisfy him. In any case, Juventus will do everything to get Alejandro Grimaldo to Turin as a free agent next summer: at the moment it is a match between black and white teams. In the coming weeks, we will know who will win this race.
INTER MILAN, GOSENS FAILS TO CONVINCE: PEDRAZA FIRST OPTION
The qualification to the knockout stage in the Champions League against Barcelona – unforeseeable until a few weeks ago – has given strength and awareness to Inter. The team led by Simone Inzaghi, match after match, is now returning to the high levels of the last year, as also confirmed by the victory (3-0) against Sampdoria. The Nerazzurri have regained consistency: they are again key performers in Serie A, thanks to the help of all the players in the squad.
That is, all except one, Robin Gosens: the former Atalanta winger is not yet convincing the coach. The last game played in the starting XI dates back to mid-September, in the Champions League away match against Viktoria Plzen. Then only a few appearances in the final minutes of matches. The German player, who due to this difficult moment also risks not being selected for the World Cup in Qatar, could even say goodbye to Inter in January: Bayer Leverkusen, after trying at the end of August, would be ready to be back for more in the next transfer market session. The Nerazzurri, meanwhile, are moving to evaluate some possible alternatives: the hottest name, at the moment, is Alfonso Pedraza.
Hector Peris Ros, the agent of the Villarreal player, confirmed that – at the very end of August – there had been contacts with Inter to get the player to replace Gosens: “We talked about him, but the deal did not go through because there was a little time before the market closed. With Villarreal the agreements are clear: if the offer of a big player arrives, all parties take it seriously”. And soon it could come…
ALEJANDRO BALDE, BARCELONA RENEWAL NOW CLOSE
The agent of Alex Balde, Jorge Mendes, has been speaking with Barcelona for months about his renewal. The will of the player is to continue with the Catalans and also the Blaugrana, for their part, do not want to lose their young talent, whose contract expires in 2024.
For this season, the final agreement could be reached already in the first months of 2023. At the moment, a 500-million-euro release clause – that Barca would also like to maintain in the future agreement, that in all likelihood should bind the player to the Spanish club until 2027 – already hangs over the left-back’s head. However, beware that some Premier League clubs are trying to establish contacts with his entourage, to cut a pre-agreement, perhaps as a free agent, for the summer of 2024.
Mendes, who would have already received proposals from a couple of English clubs, will certainly use these offers from the EPL to confirm his position of strength with the Catalans in the negotiations: the agent’s purpose is to maximize the deal, with staggering figures for a boy born in 2003 (and of course in fees for him). Currently, Alex Balde’s salary is only €160k per season, but very soon it could increase by more than 25 times.
BELLINGHAM – REAL MADRID: FLORENTINO PEREZ READY TO TAKE THE FIELD
Talks are progressing in a tight manner between Real Madrid and Jude Bellingham. The Spanish club would do everything to buy the Borussia Dortmund midfielder and even Florentino Perez – as previously done with Kylian Mbappè – is ready to take the field if necessary to ensure the success of the deal.
The main goal of the Spanish club is to sign Bellingham to replace a legend like Luka Modric – who will be 38 next year – thus building a very young midfield with Fede Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni.
The good relationship between Blancos and BVB could facilitate the negotiation, but Real Madrid must pay attention to Liverpool, which have long been on the trail of the English midfielder.
Jude, at the moment, seems to prefer Premier League to La Liga, and this is the main barrier to be overcome: the midfielder’s contract expires in 2025 and finding an agreement with the agent on personal terms (currently his salary is around 1,6 million euros) does not seem to be an issue. But the will to come back home, to his own England, may be stronger than any tempting contract and cause some headaches for Florentino.