Premier League • England

Everton fixated on in-form winger but familiar problems lurking in deal

Luis Diaz of Porto, Jojo of Belenenses

A report in the Portuguese media claims Everton are continuing to monitor Porto star Luis Diaz despite the forward’s sizeable release clause.

The Toffees have been linked with the 24-year-old for some time. But they are not the only club interested in the Colombia international. Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Barcelona and Newcastle United have all been mentioned n connection with the winger.

And it is not difficult to see why as he is enjoying a superb campaign for the Dragons. The former Junior ace has scored 11 goals and assisted two from 16 appearances in all competitions this term.

He managed to bag 11 goals from 47 outings in 2020-2021 and his stats show how much he has developed. Earlier this week a report suggested that the Portuguese club would not entertain any offers during the season.

That is because they sit top of the Primeira Liga and feel they have a genuine chance of taking the title in 2021-2022. Chelsea and Everton are the two clubs reportedly showing the most interest in Diaz.

But a reported release clause of £68m means the west Londoners are the most likely to firm up their interest. However, O Jogo (via Sport Witness) state that Everton ‘continue to pay attention’ to the talented forward.

The Merseysiders wanted to get a deal done last summer but the clubs could not find common ground over his value. Porto wanted €50m despite that figure being below his release clause.

But the Everton money men were reluctant to fork out that amount on the player and he remained in Portugal.

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Porto have certainly benefitted from their tough stance. The man with 29 Colombia caps is the undoubted star of their team.

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And the same report claims it is unlikely he will see out his contact – which runs until 2024.

Diaz certain to leave Porto

The article carries quotes from ex-Porto striker Jackson Martinez, who feels Diaz’s exit is inevitable. His compatriot said that “if he continues like this, it may be difficult” to keep him as his release clause “will be paid with ease”.

The South American’s value will increase if he continues to play at the same level. O Jogo focus on Everton’s ongoing interest but it seems unlikely the Goodison Park club will be able to afford Diaz.

Everton boss Rafael Benitez during their match against Watford, October 2021

Chelsea might be an option as the Blues fall in the category of clubs who could pay his release clause “with ease”.

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