Barcelona's bid to sign Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix has been rejected by the reigning La Liga champions. They have made it clear that they have no intention of selling one of their best players with just hours remaining in the summer transfer window.

The Catalan club are desperate to add some creativity and goal scoring threat to their squad following the departure of Lionel Messi, but their financial situation has limited the club's options. Barcelona's inflated wage bill and overspending has seen them struggle to register new signings like Sergio Aguero, while also not allowing them to sign new players.

According to Goal, Barcelona made an offer to sign Felix on loan from Atletico, but it is a deal that will not happen. The Madrid club have no need to sell players and are expected to have a quiet transfer deadline day with Diego Simeone happy with the squad at his disposal.

The Catalan outfit made their approach through super agent Jorge Mendes, but Atletico have no interest in selling a player who is considered a valuable member of the club's future. Ronald Koeman's desire to strengthen his forward line remains a dream at the moment, with Barcelona unable to fund any big money moves.

Felix has not recaptured his best form that saw him earn a €126 million (£122m) move from Benfica in 2019. He has managed just 13 goals and six assists in his 58 La Liga appearances, but the club are hoping that this season will be his breakout year, when he can show why clubs were queuing up to sign him two seasons ago.

Barcelona's last ditch attempt to strengthen their squad shows the situation the club are currently facing. Koeman admitted that they cannot compete for the top players until the financial situation is resolved. They are hoping that the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho can step up and fill the large boots vacated by Messi.

Joao Felix
Joao Felix scored but Atletico Madrid were held by Bayern Munich and need to avoid defeat in Salzburg next week to reach the last 16 PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP