William Carvalho should probably already be a Premier League player. After discussions for a summer deal to West Ham ended only in frustration and failure, however, the Portuguese international could well rock up in England wearing Everton blue rather than the claret of The Hammers.
The Mail reports that The Toffees are readying a £31 million move to make Carvalho - their latest big-money signing under majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri. Director of football Steve Walsh is said to have watched the Sporting Lisbon star in action and Everton are understood to be the new frontrunners for his signature – despite the Portuguese giants’ reluctance to sell.
Getting the deal done, however, will be easier said than done. As West Ham will testify, Sporting’s outspoken owner Bruno de Carvalho is not the easiest man to negotiate with.
The Hammers appeared likely to land Carvalho during the latter stages of the summer transfer window but, according to the Daily Record, Sporting scuppered the deal when they demanded at the 11th hour that the Premier League club up their offer to around £37.5 million.
The London-based side eventually decided to pull out of a deal while an unseemly row developed subsequently between the owners of the two clubs.
West Ham, then, would have every right to be frustrated if Everton manage to bring the 25-year-old to Goodison Park in January. One advantage Everton do have on their side is that Moshiri does not appear unwilling to put his hand in his pocket - having funded a recruitment drive worth over £140 million in the summer.
The Toffees, however, will likely have to increase their reported £31 million offer.