Everton rekindle Brazilian interest as Benitez ‘likes’ what he sees

Matheus Nunes, Braga v Sporting April 2021

Reports in the Portuguese media claim Everton have revived their interest in Sporting midfielder Matheus Nunes who may be available this summer.

The Toffees were first linked back in June when it was thought Nuno Espirito Santo would be taking the reins. However, Rafa Benitez replaced Carlo Ancelotti in the Goodison Park hotseat. That appeared to end the Merseysiders’ interest in the Brazilian schemer.

Wolves were then installed as favourites to land the Rio de Janeiro-born ace. And at the weekend, A Bola (via Sport Witness) suggested that any suitor will need to pay €18m for his signature.

Molineux chief Bruno Lage is thought to be a big admirer of the 22-year-old ace. He has been with Sporting for two seasons.

Having enjoyed 10 league outings in his first campaign, Nunes made 31 appearances last term. Everton’s interest seemed to have waned but Portuguese outlet Record (via Sport Witness) claim they ‘continue to follow the midfielder’.

They add that ‘talks could be resumed’ as Benitez ‘liked what he saw and heard’ about the South American. It has also been claimed that Benitez’s arrival has only ‘delayed the situation’ as the Toffees ‘remain well attentive’.

Rafa Benitez, former Liverpool boss linked with Everton, TEAMtalk

Newcastle United have also been linked with Nunes. The Magpies made enquiries about a January loan move but Sporting boss Ruben Amorim refused to play ball.

He wanted the youngster in his ranks for the second half of 2020-2021. The former Estoril ace remained at Estadio Jose Alvalade, making 12 starts among 31 top-flight appearances.

The Tynesiders looked again in May but the trail to St James’ Park has now gone cold.

Nunes could stay in Portugal

While one paper covers Nunes’s possible departure, Correio da Manha has the opposite viewpoint. They agree that he was close to joining Everton for around €20m but insist there was never a bid tabled.

And the publication believe that there is every chance he will begin the new campaign with the Lions. However, Sporting president Frederico Varandas is reportedly refusing to close the door completely on his sale.

The transfer window is still open for a few more weeks and much can change in that time. Other clubs might enter the picture for the young star who has been tipped for big things.

Bruno Lage new Wolves manager March 2020

He only has one full season of top-flight experience under his belt but Benitez is known to work well with young players. The Spaniard knows he must get things right from the start of the season.

Fans are unlikely to be forgiving due to his Liverpool connections.

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