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Man Utd have first option on Joao Felix but must meet Atletico’s £80m transfer demand

Manchester United have the first option on signing Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix this month, according to The Mirror.

The Red Devils are aiming to strengthen their attack in the January transfer window and it has been reported that they are close to signing Burnley striker Wout Weghorst on loan.

The club are also trying to secure the services of Felix from Atletico, but a transfer is complicated at the moment due to the demands.

United recently made a £3.5 million loan offer for the Portuguese star with the assurance of paying his wages for the rest of the season.

However, the proposal was immediately snubbed by Atletico. The Spanish club want £9.5m as a loan fee with a commitment to buy for £70.5m.

United have until the middle of this week to respond. It is claimed that they have the first option to match an offer from another club within 48 hours.

Premier League rivals Arsenal are also keen on landing the highly-rated star. They have been in contact with agent Jorge Mendes similar to United.

United need to act fast to sign Felix ahead of Arsenal

The Red Devils have a good working relationship with Mendes and this has ensured that they are leading the race to sign Felix at the current point of time.

However, they are far off from meeting Atletico’s demands for the attacker. The club have only proposed a straight-loan deal for the rest of the season.

The Spanish giants clearly want a more realistic deal for the 23-year-old and seem prepared to cut their losses on him for an overall package of £80m.

United first have to meet their loan fee of £9.5m for Felix and will need to act fast as the Gunners are also pushing to sign the world-class talent from Atletico.

Felix has had a tough season in Madrid amid his rift with manager Diego Simeone but has still impressed with nine goal involvements in under 900 minutes.

Under manager Erik ten Hag, he could realise his full potential with a more progressive brand of football but United can’t continue to ponder over the fee.

They need to either meet Atletico’s price or walk away from the proposed deal.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com