Marcel Brands could seal Carlo Ancelotti his new Nemanja Matic after Everton were one of several sides to be linked with Sogndal captain Sivert Mannsverk.
According to Calciomercato.it, the Toffees are one of a group of clubs currently tracking Mannsverk’s situation but face a race against time to finalise a deal, with Inter Milan ready to do whatever it takes to sign the 18-year-old wonderkid.
Mannsverk is considered to be surprisingly affordable for a midfielder who is expected to become one of Europe’s best prospects in the next few years, having already proven to be a complete player with great technique and the typical physique of a Nordic talent.
The Sogndal product’s efforts in the Norwegian second-tier have also alerted Bologna and SS Lazio to pay attention in Italy, while Everton and Aston Villa have begun efforts to lure the Under 19 international to the Premier League.
Groningen and AFC Ajax are also understood to have approached Sogndal with official offers for the youngster, who is further tracked by Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion, per La Lazio Siamo Noi.
Lazio have held several meetings with Mannsverk’s agent to discuss a move for the central midfielder, valued at €2m (£1.8m), who has been compared with Sheffield United’s then-club record £22m signing Sander Berge.
Mannsverk has addressed the speculation surrounding his future, stating that he has two years remaining on his current contract and wishes to repay Sogndal for the opportunities the Fosshaugane Campus natives have given him.
“I want to give back what Sogndal has given me. I do not have anything I should say yet when clubs do not agree. It is the club that decides this here, and then I think I have a contract until 2022,” he told Nettavisen. “If clubs agree, you always take it from there. This is how it is with all players.”
Brands launching a formal pursuit in hopes of seeing Everton edge out the vast interest in Mannsverk could see the Blues’ Director of Football acquire a true emerging gem of European football, and one who could prove to be Ancelotti’s new Matic at Goodison Park.
Mannsverk made 33 outings across all competitions as the Sogndal captain in 2020, in which he contributed five goals and five assists, with all of his appearances coming as the central or deep-lying playmaker in manager Eirik Bakke’s side.
He also had a direct influence in the opening goal in two fixtures, which without would have seen Sogndal fail to avoid defeat in a side which featured the lowest average age of any OBOS-Ligaen club at 20-years and two-months.
His emerging status and style of play could be ideal for the system Ancelotti is striving to establish at Everton, and has the Merseyside outfit in contention for qualification into the Champions League.
Mannsverk would also inspire comparisons with Manchester United’s Matic if signed, as Ancelotti awarded the midfielder his Chelsea debut at 21 after being plucked from obscurity at Slovakian side FC VSS Kosice.
Matic went on to become a beast in the Premier League and one considered to be the English top-flight’s best defensive midfielder while at Stamford Bridge. He also received shouts of being deserving of inclusion in the running for the division’s Player of the Year award in 2015.