Everton are reportedly set to revive their interest in Sporting Lisbon midfielder Matheus Nunes after new manager Rafael Benitez gave his approval over the potential signing.
What’s the story?
The Toffees looked set to secure the 22-year-old’s signature last week before their manager took a closer look at the youngster’s credentials.
It now appears Nunes is finally going to become an Everton player, with Benitez ‘willing to receive him’ in a deal which could reach €20m (£17.3m), according to Portuguese newspaper Record (as relayed by Sport Witness).
Should Everton sign Matheus Nunes?
Big upgrade on Andre Gomes
Nunes may not be a household name on English shores, but the Brazilian maestro is a highly-rated talent with bags of potential. He started just 12 top-flight fixtures for Sporting last season but came off the bench on many occasions, heavily contributing to the capital club’s first league title in 19 years.
The South American has cultivated an enviable reputation for his ball carrying skills, completing 1.2 dribbles per game throughout 2020/21, with only four Everton players outperforming him on that particular metric.
He’s also capable of contributing at the top end of the pitch, scoring three goals and providing three assists in 39 appearances for Ruben Amorim’s men.
With current Everton midfielder Andre Gomes linked with a possible exit, the statistics suggest that Nunes would be a significant upgrade on the former Barcelona ace.
Therefore, this is a prospective transfer which should excite the Merseyside faithful. Benitez appears to be on the verge of tying up deals for Andros Townsend (30)and Demarai Gray (25), but neither of those seem as exciting as the prodigious Sporting starlet, whose style has been likened to Toffees midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Finishing inside the top six will surely be the aim for Benitez next season, and signing Nunes could certainly help the former Real Madrid boss achieve that goal.