‘Joao Felix can become the best player in the world’

Joao Felix is closing in on a move to Atletico Madrid and one of their former players believes he can become Europe’s best player inside three seasons.

The teenager has enjoyed a breakout season with Benfica, netting 18 goals in 33 games for the Portuguese champions.

The forward is expected to depart the Primera Liga giants in the summer, with a host of Europe’s top clubs chasing Felix’s signature.

Atletico were said to have completed a deal for the youngster, something which Benfica denied in a strong statement issued by the Portuguese champions on Tuesday.

Wherever Felix ends up this summer, the young forward will hope to continue to make good on the potential he has shown this term.

And former Portugal international Simao, who spent three years as a player with Atletico, believes the teenager will be the best player in Europe if he continues to develop like he has.

“I think he can become the best player in the world because he is younger,” said former Portugal captain.

“He’s a very good guy who has a good family and a good coach, which is important because he has stability.

“When you look at Joao Felix, he’s a normal person and not like a young player who starts to play and feels like they’re the best.

“Joao Felix is normal and he feels like he is playing in the street, which is why he’s a very good player.

“If you play like you’re playing in the street, of course with rules because the coach tells you the rules, that’s why you play very well.

“He’s a normal kid and that’s why I think in two or three years that he can be the best striker in Europe.”

Both Manchester United and Manchester City are considering a move for Felix this summer, but it seems Atletico are at the front of the queue.