Everton are leading the race for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Matheus Nunes but Newcastle are still in with a shout of signing him.
That’s according to Portuguese newspaper Record (via Sport Witness).
22-year-old Nunes made 39 appearances for Sporting in all competitions last season, scoring three goals and setting-up three more.
One of his former team-mates at Estoril, Goncalo Santos, has hailed him as ‘unbelievable’ with the ball at his feet and claimed he’s ‘impossible’ to catch.
Nunes only signed a contract extension in the Portuguese capital last October, ostensibly tying him down until 2025.
Everton are said to be closing in on an agreement with Sporting after weeks of talks, with a €20million (£17.2million) deal in the pipeline.
Newcastle, the report states, tried to sign Nunes in January and have yet to ‘give up’ on landing the Brazilian.
Intriguingly, Sport Witness sources claim that Everton’s pursuit is being delayed by their manager hunt.
The Toffees have yet to appoint a successor to Carlo Ancelotti, who left to return to Real Madrid at the start of June.
But former Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez is tipped to take over at Goodison Park.
Newcastle may be running out of time to jump ahead of Everton with Benitez’s appointment seemingly imminent.
You’d think that Everton can’t rubber-stamp any deal without confirmation from a new boss, but it may be a formality when he does arrive.
In truth, Toon supporters would perhaps prefer to see any funds that have been set aside for a midfield signing put towards a move for Joe Willock, who was a revelation after his mid-season loan move.
It bodes well that they’re competing for big-money deals, though, after previous claims of a very small transfer budget.
In other news, this starlet has reportedly agreed terms with Newcastle.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience