Benfica step up interest in Brazilian forward Everton

Benfica have opened talks with Gremio about a possible deal to sign Brazil international forward Everton, according to media reports in the South American country.

The 24-year-old has been identified by newly appointed Benfica manager Jorge Jesus as a top transfer target as he seeks to improve his attacking options for next season, Globo Esporte reported.

Everton is tied to Gremio until December 2023 and has a 120 million-euro buyout clause (140 million US dollars) written into his contract, it added.

However the Brazilian Serie A club is believed to be willing to negotiate a 25 million-euro fee, given the deflationary impact of the coronavirus on football’s transfer market.

Everton has made 268 first-team appearances for Gremio and scored 69 goals since being promoted from the club’s youth academy in 2014.

He has been capped 14 times for Brazil and was a member of the Selecao side that won last year’s Copa America as hosts.

Napoli, Everton, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund have also reportedly shown interest in the Brazilian.