How Sterling and Jesus sales could bring Joao Felix to Man City

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 23 Jun 2022 18:20 CEST 3 min read
Joao Felix, Atletico Madrid, 2021/22

Manchester City are ready to move for Atletico Madrid attacker Joao Felix this summer – but the Premier League champions likely need a little help from their Premier League rivals to get a deal over the line.

Having already captured Erling Haaland for a bargain fee from Borussia Dortmund this summer – City triggered the striker’s release clause and successfully persuaded his agents that their deal was the most attractive – Pep Guardiola could rejuvenate his offence entirely over the summer transfer window.

Joao Felix, who is valued at €69 million by FootballTransfers, is in the viewfinder of the Etihad club and could join Haaland and fellow recruit Julian Alvarez, who will arrive from a promising spell at River Plate.

Any deal, though, hinges on City being able to offload Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus. Bruno Andrade reports that in order to sign Joao Felix, the club need these sales to balance their books for the purposes of Financial Fair Play.

Both players could well be on the move, though. Sterling is a wanted commodity, with the winger being seriously eyed by Chelsea for a transfer. Similarly, Gabriel Jesus is the subject of strong interest from Arsenal, whose need for a recognised No.9 is evident after they allowed Alexandre Lacazette to return to Lyon under the freedom of transfer rules.

Joao Felix

Joao Felix

What this means for Arsenal and Chelsea

With both these clubs eager to do deals, City’s interest in Joao Felix could be a positive thing for them. Aware that the Cityzens have another player in mind, it could give them a little leverage to drive the champions’ asking price down a little.

Equally, though, City will feel under little obligation to sell given both of these players are strong Premier League performers. In the case of Sterling, though, he has just a year left on his contract, so refusing any offers is risky.

Joao Felix, meanwhile, is already one of the most expensive players in the history of the game, having signed for Atleti in 2019 for a massive €126m from Benfica. He has since struggled to live up to the price tag at the Wanda Metropolitano, netting just 21 league goals in the three full seasons he has been with Diego Simeone’s men.

The versatile Portugal international, though, remains a player who has vast potential and is only 22 years old.

If Joao Felix was to move to Man City, it would already be the second major transfer of his career.