NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

Watford have made a bid of around £7 million for Santos defender Lucas Verissimo though, according to Esporte Interativo, it will take closer to £9 million to get the deal done.

It is not usually welcome news when a club from England comes calling for one of your star players.

But with the global health crisis hitting Brazil harder than most, even institutions like Santos are under serious pressure to cut costs and fast during a period of unprecedented financial uncertainty.

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And, as president Jose Carlos Peres is only too happy to admit, offers for Verissimo will not only be considered – they will be encouraged too.

“We need money, everyone knows. The big difference between 2018, when I took over, and 2020 is that we have several assets to sell, several relevant assets, before we only had one, Lucas Veríssimo. This makes us very happy,” Peres tells ESPN Brazil, in quotes translated by Terra.

That ‘asset’ looks set to be sold sooner rather than later.

Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images

But Watford will have to increase their initial £7 million offer if they are to meet Santos’ demands for a 6ft 2ins centre-back who has spent the last seven years at the eight time Serie A champions.

Interestingly, Verissimo finished as the runner-up in the race for the Golden Ball last year, handed out to the best player in Brazilian football across the calendar year.

The eventual winner? Former Juventus, PSG and Barcelona superstar Dani Alves.

Only five teams have conceded more league goals than Watford this season, so Verissimo would be a welcome addition at Vicarage Road.

Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP via Getty Images

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