João Félix is a baller. That much is clear, although to be fair, it’s early to buy into the hype. It was “just” Royal Antwerp. But it was still a show, a 5-0 drubbing in the UEFA Champions League.
Félix has been trying to find his place in world football ever since he fell out with Diego Simeone. He made a €126 million move to Atlético de Madrid, won La Liga, and was later considered their player of the season not too long ago.
His loan to Chelsea was not what either side expected, and he was back on the market this summer. Moves to Saudi Arabia were considered. Eventually, FC Barcelona came calling. It was not a permanent transfer, but another loan.
In a lot of ways, his situation is up in the air. Barcelona are facing a “happy problem” at this point. If he continues to sparkle, his price will only go up. Atlético have him locked up until 2019. They will demand a high transfer fee, probably above 100 million euro, if he keeps doing things so well. The Catalans can’t afford that.
A similar thing could be said about his namesake and compatriot, João Cancelo. Barcelona took them because they were at an ebb in their careers and they were available for relatively cheap loans given their quality.
What will happen next year? Can Barcelona convince their parent clubs to strike a reasonable deal? Or with their stock back up, will the two Joãos find another big club willing to splash the cash?