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Luis Diaz could end up at Barcelona after Everton missed out on a £25 million deal to bring the Porto winger to the Premier League, as reported by Marca

James Rodriguez didn’t do himself any favours during his final few weeks at Goodison Park. 

Spending more time on Fortnite than the football pitch, James not only enraged supporters with his apparent indifference to the club that paid his £200,000-a-week wages, he also inadvertently blocked a deal that would have seen one of Europe’s most exciting young forwards put pen to paper at the Toffees. 

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According to Correio da Manha, Everton offered £25 million for Luis Diaz, James’ sparkling, fleet-footed compatriot.

The Merseyside giants hoped to swap one Colombian international for another but, with James’ eye-watering wages standing in the way of a return to the Estadio do Dragao, a deal for Diaz went up in smoke quicker than an unattended chip pan. 

More Everton links – could Luis Diaz join Roberto Martinez at Barcelona?

And while James is preparing for a fresh start in Qatar, joining Al-Rayyan last week, Diaz is only enhancing his burgeoning reputation in Portugal.

The jet-heeled winger, arguably the stand-out performer at the 2021 Copa America, has scored five times and provided one assist in eight games for Porto this season. 

According to reports coming out of Spain, Diaz’s thrilling performances haven’t gone unnoticed either, with La Liga giants Barcelona eyeing a deal.

And if you’re wondering how cash-strapped Barca could afford a player of Diaz’s talent and potential, it’s understood Porto would demand only £25 million. That’s not the sort of cash you’d find down the back of the sofa but still affordable for a club in Barcelona’s financial straits. 

Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

“There’s been a fair bit of Premier League interest in Diaz over the last couple of years from Liverpool. More recently I’m led to understand from Tottenham and Chelsea. He’s a winger, usually plays wide left cutting in on to his right foot. There’s a goal in him,” South American expert Tim Vickery told talkSPORT.

“He had a fantastic Copa America. He scored four goals, and each of them was better than the last. They were sensational goals.”

And with Roberto Martinez apparently lined up to succeed under-fire, thunder-faced Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou, there’s a chance a former Everton manager could join forces with the Toffees’ target at one of Europe’s biggest clubs. 

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