According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Everton have stolen a march on West Ham United in the race to sign Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes this month.
The Toffees are the favourites to sign the 20-year-old on an 18-month loan deal with an option to buy for £34 million, and are in talks with the Portuguese outfit and the player’s representatives.
According to Sportsmail, Fernandes has a £102 million release clause, and it will be interesting to see if Everton can seal his services for the price they value him at.
West Ham were hoping to beat Manchester United to the signature of the youngster who was keen on moving to London, but it seems the Hammers are no longer in the driving seat.
An exit is very much on the cards for Fernandes at Benfica having fallen out with manager Bruno Lage and not featuring in their last seven matches, and the highly-rated Portugal under-21 midfielder will be a massive addition to the Everton midfield.
The Toffees are lacking quality depth and competition after key injuries in the department, and the youngster, who can operate in the centre or on the right, brings a lot to the table given his huge potential.
Pipping West Ham to Fernandes’ services would be an inspired move for Everton in the end should he end up becoming a top-flight star, and David Moyes could end up ruing missing out on the talented kid.