The January transfer window was a very busy one for Everton, as not only was Frank Lampard appointed manager, but five players walked through the door as the club looked to ensure their Premier League membership would be reinstated for next season.
However, after more difficult defeats and poor performances, the Toffees are currently hovering dangerously above the relegation zone in 17th, and to make matters worse, one of their key transfer targets Matheus Nunes, is now being linked with some of the top clubs in Europe.
Earlier in the month, Pep Guardiola described Nunes after Manchester City’s Champions League clash with his club Sporting Lisbon, as: “one of the best in the world right now.”
Correio da Manhã (via Sport Witness) are just one publication that have suggested the Portuguese midfielder could be heading to the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season – much to the frustration of Everton fans who believed that the player was close to signing for their club earlier in the year, as well as last summer.
But now, even the likes of Spurs are ahead of the Merseyside club in the race for the 23-year-old’s signature, and should Everton still be as interested as they were in recent months to acquire him, they will face stiff competition not just to out-bid teams, but to convince the player to sign on at Goodison Park.
Unfortunately for the supporters, it seems that the club waited just too long to make a move, and didn’t cough up enough money in the last two transfer windows to entice Sporting into selling.
Now, the transfer looks more improbable than ever, with Nunes having a price tag of at least €40m (£33m), but should performances continue to get better and better, you can expect that valuation to go up.
The midfielder is a technically gifted player with skill and flair, completing 73% of his dribbles as well as winning on average 6.8 duels per game and making 0.7 key passes per game. That means he’d add plenty to a stuttering Everton attack.
Having made just two assists and scored two goals in the Liga NOS this season, there is definitely room for improvement in terms of his offensive output, but that will come with time wherever he will play his football next season.
Sadly, it looks as though it won’t be at Goodison Park, an eventuality Farhad Moshiri and co may end up living to regret.