Joao Felix has provided a crucial update on his long-term future at Chelsea.
The Portugal forward was wanted by several Premier League clubs, including Arsenal and Manchester United, when he was put on the market by Atletico Madrid earlier this season.
However, Chelsea were the only side willing to pay a loan fee of around £9m in order to take Felix on loan for the rest of the season, with the 23-year-old extending his contract with Atletico before heading to west London.
He performed well on his debut against Fulham before inexplicably being shown a red card, picking up a three game suspension days after joining the Blues.
While Graham Potter’s side have largely struggled in 2023, Felix has been among their top performers when he’s been on the pitch.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s crunch Champions League last 16 second leg with Borussia Dortmund, Felix admitted qualification to next season’s tournament will go a long way to deciding where he’s playing next season.
“Yeah, playing in the Champions League is always different. It’s a competition that everyone wants to play,” Felix replied when asked if staying at Chelsea is dependent on reaching Europe’s top club competition.
“But now I’m focused on this Champions League, on the game. We have a lot of games yet to try to reach the Champions League in the league. It’s not over. But, yeah, playing in the Champions League is an important decision, but the future no one knows, so let’s see what happens and then we’ll see.”
He added: “Chelsea is a team who likes to attack, who likes to have the ball, who likes to dominate the game, so that’s the game I like to play. I feel very free to play here, to play as I like. I’m loving it. When I left Atletico, I thought it was good for me and for them. So I think it was the perfect deal. So I think it’s important for me, this loan, and I’m very happy to play here.”
At this stage, it seems rather unlikely that Chelsea will be in next season’s Champions League – they sit 10th in the Premier League table, and even if they overturn their 1-0 deficit against Dortmund, they would still be considerable outsiders to go all the way.
On this edition of Son of Chelsea, part of the 90min podcast network, Daniel Childs discusses Chelsea’s much-needed victory over Leeds and what it could mean for Graham Potter. If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!