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Atletico Madrid want Memphis Depay to replace Joao Felix

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By Martin Graham | 11th Jan 2023

Atletico Madrid are already looking to replace Portuguese striker Joao Felix, who is off on loan to Chelsea. The Colchoneros are eyeing out-of-favour Barcelona striker Memphis Depay.

How do you solve a problem like Joao Felix? The Portuguese striker is prodigiously talented, but Diego Simeone is at crossroads in getting the best out of him. The 23-year-old is yet to set the Wanda Metropolitano stadium alight, with the frustration leading Atletico to allow him to join Chelsea on loan till the end of the season.

It has not been a bright season for Atletico, who are struggling to keep their place in the top four. Rumours are also rife that Diego Simeone is in his final season in the Metropolitano dugout. Atletico are currently in fifth place, but scoring goals has been an issue, which makes the loaning of Joao Felix to Chelsea a curious one.

Short of a striker, the Colchoneros are looking to fill the vacuum left behind by Felix. Atletico want to exploit their relationship with Barcelona, as they target one of their strikers. The Madrid-based side have their eyes on Dutch forward Memphis Depay. The Dutchman has not enjoyed regular minutes at the Nou Camp and might be keen on moving to the Wanda Metropolitano.

Atletico target Depay as Felix replacement

With Joao Felix off on loan to Chelsea till the end of the season, Atletico is left one man short and need to fill the vacuum left behind. According to 90min, the Colchoneros see Memphis Depay as an adequate replacement for the Portuguese striker. Felix has not been scoring consistently, and perhaps a new stomping ground could help him find his mojo again.

Atletico Madrid and Chelsea have a verbal agreement for the loan signing of Joao Felix for the rest of the season. After a poor outing in the Champions, where they failed to qualify from Group B or drop to the Europa League, Simeone is keen to see his side return to the Champions League next season.

According to the latest reports, Atletico are in talks with La Blaugrana over a deal for Memphis Depay. Depay has found minutes a luxury at the Nou Camp, as he is out of favour with Xavi. Barcelona would be keen to sell the player whose contract expires at the end of the season. Barça would receive a fair offer for the Dutchman, amounting to wages off their books.

Not a straightforward affair for Atletico

Depay wants to leave Barcelona as he has dropped down the pecking order. Xavi prefers the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Raphinha and Ansu Fati over the former Lyon striker. Despite his situation, Depay is weighing his options, as he is in touch with several foreign clubs capable of offering him a pre-contract offer. Atletico is not in a position to give Depay a pre-contract.

A few clubs in the Premier League are keen to bring Depay back to England. According to 90min, Serie A outfit Roma was in touch with Barcelona last month over a potential January move for Depay.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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