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Benfica boss Jorge Jesus claims that Everton are hoping to beat his Primeira Liga side to the signature of Brazil international Everton Soares, in quotes reported by Record.

Four months ago, Gremio president Romildo Bolzan confirmed in conversation with SGLR that Carlo Ancelotti was a big fan of an explosive winger who had fired Brazil to Copa America glory in 2019.

In fact, the Toffees boss was also claimed to have spoken to the player who shares his name with one of British football’s most historic football clubs.

REACTING TO 19/20 PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS

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While the smart money now is on Everton (the man, not the team), moving to Portugal, Ancelotti has not given up hope just yet.

According to UOL, the three-time Champions League winner phoned the Gremio talisman once again last week.

But it seems that his efforts are all in vain with Benfica closing in on what would be a £20 million coup.

“It is true that I called the player. He is one of the important targets for Benfica, not only because of his quality – he is a starter for Brazil too. There was also interest from Everton and a German team,” Jesus, who returned for a second spell in Lisbon after winning the treble at Flamengo, said on Sunday.

Jorge Jesus (Reuters)

“I looked to convince him to come to Benfica, which is a great club, with a national and European project with other great players to attack all competition.

“I tried to convince him to come work with me.”

The cynics may be questioning why Everton would turn down a move in England in favour of Portuguese football.

But, despite the presence of Ancelotti on the Goodison Park touchline, the Toffees finished a miserable 12th in the Premier League last season, their lowest placing in 16 years.

Benfica, meanwhile, will be playing Champions League football and challenging for silverware in 2020/21.

MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images

In other news, Roy Hodgson says former Liverpool man Nathaniel Clyne could join Crystal Palace