Ex-Chelsea flop ‘said no’ to Liverpool as ‘swap deal’ involving £64m attacker collapsed amid ‘sacrifice’

Liverpool target Felix Credit: Alamy
Liverpool target Felix Credit: Alamy

According to reports, former Chelsea flop Joao Felix rejected Aston Villa, Liverpool and Manchester United to finalise a move to Barcelona.

The Portugal international spent the final few months of last season on loan at Stamford Bridge. He joined Chelsea after he was linked with Arsenal and Man Utd.

A loan fee of around £8m was spent by Chelsea to secure Felix’s services for the end of the 2022/23 campaign but he did not make a huge impact as they endured a miserable end to the season.

Felix returned to Atletico Madrid during pre-season but he told Fabrizio Romano in July that it is his “dream” to play for Barcelona.

“I’d love to play for Barça,” Felix said. “Barcelona has always been my first choice and I’d love to join Barça. It was always my dream since I was a kid. If it happens, it will be a dream come true for me.”

Barcelona were plotting a deal for Felix throughout the summer transfer window and they signed him (and Man City’s Joao Cancelo) on loan during deadline day last Friday.

Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo are now reporting that Felix ‘made several sacrifices’ to seal himself his “dream” move to Barcelona.

Felix ‘was not a priority’ for Barcelona in the summer and his ‘salary was reduced by half’ following his switch to the Spanish giants.

It is also noted that there was ‘no shortage of offers’ from ‘other powerful clubs’ for Felix, who ‘said no’ to Aston Villa, Liverpool and Man Utd.

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Man Utd were’ interested in obtaining him on loan’, while Unai Emery’s Aston Villa ‘pushed hard’ to get him.

While these two claims are somewhat believable, the part about Liverpool is far from credible, with it claimed that they ‘wanted him in a swap for Darwin Nunez’.

The report adds: ‘However, they all found themselves with the same answer: “No, thank you, I want to go to Barça and I will wait for you.” The wait for him and his financial sacrifice have been worth it. Now it’s his turn to convince on the field.’

Nunez (somewhat unfairly) was criticised by some during his debut season for Liverpool last term but the natural goalscorer has the credentials to come good for the Premier League giants.

An initial £64m was paid to sign the Uraguay international from Benfica in 2022 and they were surely never going to give up on him during the summer.

The 24-year-old has grabbed two goals and an assist in Liverpool’s first four Premier League games of the new season so he looks on track to enjoy a brilliant second year at Anfield.

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