Atletico Madrid’s new record signing Joao Felix has vowed not to be weighed down by the impact compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo made in the city as he attempts follow in his footsteps.
The 19-year-old Portugal striker, who had earlier trained with his team-mates for the first time, was unveiled at a press conference by Atletico on Monday after completing his €127.2 million move from Benfica last week.
Asked if he had spoken to international colleague Ronaldo, who spent nine years with derby rivals Real Madrid, Felix told a press conference: “He is a great player, he is currently the best in the world and maybe always.
“In the national team, I spoke of Madrid – he liked the city very much and I am here to make my history and be remembered as Joao Felix. Cristiano is Cristiano and I am Joao Felix.”
Felix will also have to deal with the pressure of his price tag, but he insisted that is not a concern.
He said: “This issue of prices is a market theme and I do not know anything about it. I dedicate myself to playing, doing my job and trying to help the club I am at.
“I’m here to make history at this club.”
Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.
We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.
Today’s edition features potential signings for Tottenham, Manchester United and PSG.
RUMOUR: Real Madrid -> loan -> Tottenham
Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is close to signing for Tottenham on loan, according to Estadiodeportivo.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Ceballos feels there is a future for him at Madrid but would be keen on a loan move to Spurs, where he has signalled his intention to Mauricio Pochettino of playing 40 games plus per season.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Champions League winners Liverpool are also jockeying for position and boss Jurgen Klopp rates Ceballos very highly. The Spaniard may opt for a move instead to Anfield as the Reds go in search of a first Premier League title since 1990.
RUMOUR: Sporting Lisbon -> €70m -> Manchester United
Bruno Fernandes is expecting to seal a transfer to Manchester United this summer, according to Correio da Manha.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has targeted the Sporting Lisbon ace to strengthen his midfield, especially with Paul Pogba looking increasingly intent on a move to Juventus. Fernandes is believed to have already agreed personal terms with the Red Devils, but Sporting are continuing to hold out for a fee closer to €70m before anything is confirmed.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Only something drastic breaking down at the last minute can see this deal not getting over the line.
RUMOUR: Barcelona -> £50m -> PSG
PSG are keen for Barcelona to include out-of-favour attacker Malcom in any deal involving Neymar, according to La Parisien.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Barcelona’s interest in Neymar is growing by the day and a move could be confirmed by the end of the transfer window. Keeping in mind the restriction on non-EU spots and the mammoth transfer fee, it’s likely that Malcom will be on his way out. The Brazilian has had to play a bit part role in his first season at the Camp Nou and is unlikely to force his way into the starting XI if he chooses to stay.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Borussia Dortmund are also interested in the 22-year-old but Barcelona are reportedly interested in shipping him off to Ligue 1 as part of the potential Neymar deal. However, given how the Spanish giants are in need of funds, they could sell the player to the highest bidder.
That’s according to a report in Marca, which claims that United have asked for time to search for a replacement to the midfielder who won the World Cup with France last year.
Recruiting his countryman has been Zinedine Zidane’s wish right from the outset of the summer transfer window, despite reports that the Madrid board would favour a move for Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.
United, meanwhile, have been linked with moves for Sporting star Bruno Fernandes and Newcastle’s emerging talent Sean Longstaff, but with Ander Herrera having left on a free transfer to PSG and a Pogba exit seemingly imminent, more than two reinforcements may be required.
Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one possible replacement, though the club will likely balk over a price tag €120 million – especially as they are holding out for €150m for Pogba.
Pogba, who found some of his best form when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was initially appointed in December before badly tailing off at the end of the season, has flown to Australia to be part of United’s pre-season tour.