Manchester United have had a €130 million ($131m/£110m) offer for Joao Felix turned down by Atletico Madrid, GOAL can confirm. The figure may seem tantalising for the Spanish side, who are used to having to sell their best players, but they have deemed the "significant offer" to be fairly weak relative to the forward's stature.
Atletico Madrid bought Felix for a record fee in 2019, and they feel the 22-year-old's massive potential is not fully reflected in the Red Devils' approach.
As a result, they have made their stance clear to Erik ten Hag and Co.
Why did Atletico Madrid turn down Man Utd's offer for Joao Felix?
There are many factors behind Atletico Madrid's decision to snub United's bid for the Portuguese star.
First of all, Atletico Madrid to not want to upset their supporters by selling such a key asset, especially with the new La Liga season already underway.
The 22-year-old put in an excellent display as Diego Simeone's men started with a 3-0 win against Getafe. He set up all three goals as Alvaro Morata netted a brace and Antoine Griezmann recorded his first league goal since late-2021.
Atletico Madrid also believe the Old Trafford club is not seen as such a glittering transfer destination any more - a factor that will help them convince Felix to stay.
Even more crucial, however, is the fact that Atletico would not pocket the entire fee offered by United. For one thing, accepting the bid would mean selling Felix for just €3m more than they originally paid to buy him from Benfica. Felix has three years left on the contract he signed when he moved from Portugal. The amortisation - the amount of money they still owe Benfica or the bank from the initial deal - would be around €64m.
After the deduction of the depreciation from the offer United made, Atletico would pocket around €66m for him in real terms, making the deal less attractive for the Rojiblancos.
How much would Atletico demand for Felix?
Atletico Madrid believe it would have been irresponsible to sell Felix for the price named by Manchester United.
They would have put some thought into the offer had it been for around €250m, though it may take a club matching the €350m release clause to make a deal happen.
Felix is expected to be a crucial part of the Atletico team this term. Injuries limited him to just 24 appearances in La Liga last season, 11 of which he started, and he managed to chip in with eight goals and four assists.
Manchester United are desperate to sign a new attacker to strengthen the squad this season, especially with Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly asking to leave the club before the transfer window closes.
After a bid for Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic fell apart, Erik ten Hag's team continue to be linked with Felix's team-mates Morata and Matheus Cunha as well as Ajax star Antony and Chelsea's Christian Pulisic, among others.