Everton are likely to be in the market for a defender this summer, and seemingly missed out on a signing during the January window.
The Toffees have seen Mason Holgate thrive under Carlo Ancelotti, but Yerry Mina and Michael Keane haven't really been able to nail down starting roles.
That means another centre back may be wanted, and The Mirror claim that Lille defender Gabriel is likely to join Everton in a £30million move this summer.
However, it's now being claimed that Everton missed out on another Brazilian defender in January, with Santos ace Lucas Verissimo believed to be wanted.
Lucas, 25, has racked up more than 150 appearances for Santos, and emerged as one of the top centre backs in Brazil along the way, even though he hasn't earned an international call-up yet.
What's interesting is that Ancelotti has allegedly targeted Lucas before, with Napoli Today noting in 2018 that Ancelotti was keen to sign him.
Now, Santos president Jose Carlos Peres has told Calciomercato that Everton tried to take Lucas on loan in January, but Santos will only let him go in a straight sale.
Peres noted that Lucas was nearly sold to Torino in January, but Jorge Sampaoli forced the deal to be pulled – and Santos believe that some managers and directors may not realise that Lucas doesn't actually have Italian citizenship to make an easy move to Europe, meaning he may end up staying in Brazil.
“He had already been practically sold to Torino for €10 million, a very low figure, given that we wanted at least €12,” said Peres. “Then my coach insistently asked me not to sell it, and we had to withdraw it from the market. Yes, at this moment we are busy renewing his contract, but Verissimo has many requests, but only one problem: despite his surname, he does not have Italian citizenship.”
“In my opinion, the impresarios have not gone deep on this aspect and it can be a problem that blocks some negotiations. In January Ancelotti's Everton tried to borrow it, but on this we are clear: we only sell it if in a definitive way,” he added.
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