Atleti chief prepared to welcome 'star' Joao Felix back from Chelsea loan

By Sports Desk April 21, 2023

Atletico Madrid will welcome Joao Felix back with open arms if Chelsea decide against pursuing a permanent move for the forward, says club president Enrique Cerezo.

Joao Felix joined Chelsea on loan in January as part of a flurry of mid-season transfer activity at Stamford Bridge.

However, the Portugal international has managed just two goals in 11 Premier League appearances to date, and Frank Lampard has named him on the bench for Chelsea's last two games. 

While Joao Felix endured a strained relationship with Atletico boss Diego Simeone before departing on loan, Los Colchoneros will find a place for him if he returns to the club next season.

Asked about the forward's future, Cerezo told Cadena SER: "You can't anticipate things, everything is yet to be seen. Chelsea are a big team that can count on him. 

"If he comes back, he will be well received, if he returns. Nothing can ever be ruled out in football, you can't take anything for granted."

Atletico are two points behind second-placed Real Madrid in LaLiga after winning six successive league games, but Cerezo does not believe their improved form can be attributed to Joao Felix's exit.

"The circumstances of each team are different," he said. "Joao was under a lot of pressure, he's a star, but here he hasn't had the luck to show it. 

"He's going to be a great player, and not in the very distant future."

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