Benfica step up interest in Brazilian forward Everton

Benfica have opened talks with Gremio about a possible deal to sign Brazil international forward Everton, according to media reports in the South American country.

The 24-year-old has been identified by newly appointed Benfica manager Jorge Jesus as a top transfer target as he seeks to improve his attacking options for next season, Globo Esporte reported, writes Xinhua news agency.

Everton is tied to Gremio until December 2023 and has a 120 million-euro buyout clause ($140 million) written into his contract, it added.

However the Brazilian Serie A club is believed to be willing to negotiate a 25 million-euro fee, given the deflationary impact of the coronavirus on football’s transfer market.

Everton has made 268 first-team appearances for Gremio and scored 69 goals since being promoted from the club’s youth academy in 2014.

He has been capped 14 times for Brazil and was a member of the Selecao side that won last year’s Copa America as hosts.

Napoli, Everton, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund have also reportedly shown interest in the Brazilian.