João Felix, 23, almost came back to the Premier League. But his choice was Barcelona.

“Aston Villa agreed to sign Felix on loan, but he rejected a return to the Premier League,” British outlet CutOffside reported on Monday.

“Felix did not want to play for Atletico Madrid. “Aston Villa wanted Felix, but he only wanted to move to Barcelona,” the report continued, “after spending the second half of last season at Chelsea. We finalized the loan move on deadline day.”

Atletico Madrid legend Paulo Putre revealed that he had discussed the future with Felix’s agent, Jorge Mendes. “At the beginning of July, when there was an agreement between Atletico Madrid and Aston Villa, Felix’s side said no,” Putre told Spanish outlet Cadena Ser.

Felix has been touted as the next Cristiano Ronaldo since he came through the youth ranks at Benfica in Portugal.

He made his debut for Benfica’s first team in the 2018-19 season, and in July 2019, he donned an Atletico Madrid shirt. At the time, his transfer fee amounted to £113 million, the highest in Atletico Madrid’s history.

However, he did not prove to be worth his price tag. In 131 total appearances, he scored 34 goals and provided 18 assists. This season, he was even less involved. He has five goals and three assists in 20 games, but only 11 of them have been starts. In La Liga, he has started just seven games. An uneasy relationship with coach Diego Simeone prevented him from getting a chance.

He eventually moved to Chelsea in the January transfer window. He scored four goals in 20 games after his move. He started 11 of their 16 Premier League games, showing his influence in the team. Despite Chelsea’s dip in form, Felix is reportedly happy with his post-transfer life. He expressed his desire to stay at Chelsea next season.

However, Chelsea were struggling financially. They couldn’t afford to pay Felix, especially with new manager Mauricio Pochettino at the helm, 토토사이트 and they lost interest in him.

Felix’s first priority was to leave Atletico Madrid. Aston Villa were interested, but Felix’s dream club, Barcelona, was his destination. After a season-long loan, Felix has scored three goals and provided two assists in six games in a Barcelona shirt.