Aston Villa are considering an ambitious bid to land Joao Felix from Atletico Madrid in January but face competition from Arsenal.
The 23-year-old looks set to leave the Wanda Metropolitano after falling out of favor under manager Diego Simeone.
Felix has started just five La Liga games this season but showed his class at the World Cup with Portugal where he scored once and provided two assists.
Speaking to Sport TV earlier in the tournament, the former Benfica striker said: “The way you play here and at the club is different.
“When the conditions are right, things go better.”
This has led Atletico owner Gil Marin to reveal the player is likely to leave in the near future, as he told TVE: “The relationship between the coach and him is not good. , nor his motivation.
“The most reasonable thing is to think about him leaving, although I would like him to stay. But it’s not his will.”
His availability has put a number of clubs on red alert, with ambitious Aston Villa fielding a swoop, according to The Athletic.
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It has been claimed that his agent Jorge Mendes was pushing his client to join the Midlands squad after he helped facilitate the appointment of Unai Emery.
And he is keen to build on his strong relationship with Villa by negotiating Felix’s transfer.
But the outlet insists Arsenal, who have already inquired about Felix, could be an option in their quest to replace the injured Gabriel Jesus.
And Marca have revealed the Gunners have ‘taken the lead’ in the pursuit of Felix.
While acknowledging Villa’s interest, the Spanish newspaper insisted Mikel Arteta’s side have stepped up their interest.
They said Arsenal intend to be active in the new year to continue their pursuit of a first Premier League title since 2004.
Marca also claim that Manchester United and Chelsea could be tempted to sell their centre-forward problems.
While it remains to be seen if Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich enter the race with the German side who have yet to replace Robert Lewandowski.
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