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Everton are willing to match the £20 million bid put forward by Benfica for Gremio winger Everton Soares after Carlo Ancelotti held talks with the Brazil international, according to reports in South America.

It seems that Jorge Jesus, the veteran coach with the voluminous hairdo, did not merely use his time in Brazilian football to hoover up almost every single piece of silverware on offer.

Jesus lifted six out of seven trophies available at Flamengo, including the league title and the Copa Libertadores – but it he did it all while also keeping a very close eye on one of South American’s most exciting attackers.

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The 66-year-old returned for a second spell at Portuguese giants Benfica recently and, according to Globo Esporte, he wants to bring Everton Soares with him.

The Lisbon giants appear to be in the driving seat but there is still one plucky challenger in the rearview mirror – Ancelotti’s Everton.

The report claims that the Premier League outfit are willing to match Benfica’s offer for a player who shares their name.

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Ancelotti, the gentleman’s gaffer, is no stranger to contacting players directly, in the hope that the personal touch will go a long way in convincing his top targets to reject all other offers.

And UOL claims that the Everton boss phoned Everton last week to ask whether he’d be keen to link up with compatriot Richarlison on Merseyside.

This comes four months after Gremio president Romildo Bolzan admitted that Everton were big fans of the 2019 Copa America winner (SGLR).

With Benfica so far down the line, however, Ancelotti looks set to miss out to a coach even more experienced than himself.

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