Everton Soares is an ‘exceptional’ footballer with the potential to become one of the best players on planet earth, Fortaleza president Marcelo Paz tells Gonfialarete of a winger linked with a move to Goodison Park.
If Everton (the football club) were hoping to keep their interest in Everton (the man) under wraps, the cat was let out of the proverbial bag recently.
Speaking to SGLR in April, Gremio owner Romilo Bolzan claimed that Toffees coach Carlo Ancelotti had made contact with the 2019 Copa America hero about a deal that would see Everton join the club that shares his name.
Financial Fair Play restrictions, Bolzan added, could prove to be a substantial stumbling block as the Merseyside giants look to snap up an explosive forward with a £70 million release clause in his contract, particularly in a market beset by such unprecedented uncertainty.
But, if you ask another Brazilian football president, Everton could be worth every single penny and more.
“He is a fantastic, exceptional, very talented player, with great dribbling skills,” says Paz, reminiscing about a player who rose through the ranks at Fortaleza before leaving for Gremio.
“Of course he will not be (the second coming of) Ronaldo, because he is Il Fenomeno and there is only one. But I assure you that he is a special player, he has all the qualities to become among the best in the world. And besides being strong he is a serious guy.
“A world-class player.”
Paz might have something of an ulterior motive here, of course.
Fortaleza included a 10 per cent sell-on clause in Everton’s contract when they sold the wide man to Gremio six years ago. And, if Everton do stump up that £70 million fee, Fortaleza will see a rather sizeable windfall coming their way.