How Aston Villa could work with Joao Felix as they plot an ambitious ‘statement’ transfer for the Atletico Madrid star

UNAI EMERY remain keen on signing Portuguese striker Joao Felix as he seeks a ‘declaration’ to prove Aston Villa are ready to step up.

However, he faces stiff competition from Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, PSG, Juventus and Newcastle United, all of whom are keen on the troubled Atletico Madrid striker.

How Aston Villa could line up if they sign Joao Felix and Samuel Chukwueze

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How Aston Villa could line up if they sign Joao Felix and Samuel Chukwueze

Meanwhile, Emery will be keeping an eye on three of his former stars when Villa host his former club Villarreal on Thursday.

The Spain boss will use the friendly to give a form check to Samuel Chukwueze, Arnaut Danjuma and Nicolas Jackson, whom he knows well from his time in charge of the La Liga club.

Emery has been promised a healthy budget by billionaire owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens to bolster his squad in the January window.

He remains hopeful for Felix as he moves closer to a decision on his uncertain future now that Portugal’s World Cup season is over.

Falling out of favor and out of love with hardline boss Diego Simeone, Felix wants a move despite having three and a half years left on his current contract.

Atletico are keen to cut losses on their record-breaking signing and the Spaniards’ CEO Miguel Angel Gil could even be open to a loan deal with an option to buy in January.

Gil told Spanish broadcaster TVE: “I would love for him to continue but that’s not the player’s idea.”

Felix’ agent Jorge Mendes has close ties with Sawiris, the co-owner of Villa, after the Portuguese super agent helped broker Emery’s recent move to Villa Park.

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Mendes is pushing Villa as a realistic option for the 23-year-old hitman, who cost Atletico a staggering £113m when they signed him from Benfica in 2019.

However, Emery is aware of Felix’s desire to play Champions League football once a year and is making contingency plans in case the Portuguese forward refuses his advances.

He has his sights set on a trio of his former Villarreal players ahead of Thursday’s reunion with his old club.

High on the list is Chukwueze, who could solve Villa’s problem on the right flank.

The 23-year-old Nigeria international has enjoyed outstanding success under Emery, being involved in 30 goals in all competitions since Emery joined Villarreal in 2020.

He was a key factor in the Spaniard’s successful run to the Champions League semi-finals and would cost Villa around £40million.

If Villa end up striking ambitious deals for Felix and the Villarreal star, they could boast an incredibly fearsome attack from Felix, Chukwueze and Ings.

A cheaper option would be 21-year-old Nicolas Jackson, the young Senegalese international who Emery promoted to his first-team squad from Villarreal B.

Jackson has a £26million buy-out clause but that could prove to be a steal if the young winger fulfills his huge potential.

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Meanwhile, former Bournemouth winger Arnaut Danjuma is another old Emery boy who would jump at the chance to be reunited with his old boss.

His form has deteriorated since Emery joined Villa, resulting in him missing out on the Netherlands World Cup squad and the £30million-rated striker would be open to starting his career under his ex-boss in England.

Felix is ​​unsettled at Atletico Madrid after falling out with Diego Simeone

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Felix is ​​unsettled at Atletico Madrid after falling out with Diego SimeonePhoto credit: Getty

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6920545/how-aston-villa-joao-felix-atletico-madrid/ How Aston Villa could work with Joao Felix as they plot an ambitious ‘statement’ transfer for the Atletico Madrid star

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