Cristiano Ronaldo ‘Approves’ of Juventus Chasing Joao Felix as Atletico Emerge as Latest Rivals

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is said to approve and support the club’s interest in signing Benfica and Portugal starlet Joao Felix, with their shock exit from the Champions League earlier this month apparently set to kick off significant investment.

19-year-old Felix has emerged as one of Europe’s premier new talents this season and underlined his enormous potential with a recent hat-trick in the Europa League.

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It has already been reported that Benfica have rejected a €75m offer from Juventus, while there is even speculation that Paulo Dybala could be cut loose to make room.

According to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have all ‘requested information’ on Felix in addition to Juve’s interest.

Juve are said to want to provide Ronaldo with ‘good company’ as they look to strengthen and finally end their long Champions League trophy drought. The Italians were apparently initially unwilling to spend more than €100m in their pursuit of the teenager, but that may have changed.

Felix is believed to have a €120m (£104m) release clause in his current Benfica contract.

Joao Pedro

It seems unlikely that Juve would genuinely feel the need for Ronaldo to ‘approve’ potential signings or allow a single player to influence transfer policy, but it has been often been reported as such, dating back to his time at Real Madrid, and similarly for Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

There is plausibility that Juve would at least target players Ronaldo likes and would complement him given that he is the €100m centrepiece of their Champions League ambitions.

But the idea that Ronaldo ‘demands’ certain players and has his own ‘transfer wishlist’ that includes Felix and ex-Real teammates Raphael Varane and Isco, as Italian publication Corriere dello Sport has reported this week, seems a little farfetched.

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It already seems clear that Juve won’t be alone in their efforts to sign Felix as a result of the aforementioned interest from Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, but Atletico Madrid may also provide competition if Antoine Griezmann moves on.

Griezmann has been linked with an exit from Wanda Metropolitano after it was reported earlier this year that he regrets his decision to stay with the club last summer, with AS carrying a report that Atletico will look to Felix to replace the World Cup winning Frenchman.

Whoever makes the offers for Felix, Benfica will try their best to resist and keep the starlet, with club president Luís Filipe Vieira insisting he will do everything he can to stop players leaving.

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“We are going to do everything so that no one leaves, I can say that no one will leave,” Vieira is quoted as saying by A Bola.

“We have a certain strategy and it would not make sense to be changing. I am the mentor of this project and I am going to beat myself to the last so nobody leaves.”

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