Everton actively scouting Liverpool target with £107m release clause; the Toffees are ‘in love with him’
Everton have sent ’emissaries’ to keep a close eye on Benfica midfielder Florentino Luis, who they are ‘in love with,’ according to reports.
The Toffees were the only Premier League side not to make any signings in January, so Sean Dyche will be in need of reinforcements this summer, regardless of whether they avoid relegation or not.
The 23-year-old’s contract with the Portuguese giants is valid until 2027, with an eye-watering release clause, but he appears to have caught the eye of the hierarchy at Goodison Park.
According to Record, via Sport Witness, Everton are ‘in love’ with Florentino and sent ’emissaries’ (scouts) to watch him in Benfica’s 2-0 win over Club Brugge on Wednesday.
It is believed the Toffees took ‘very positive notes’ from the midfielder’s performance, who has a staggering €120m (£106m) release clause included in his terms.
The report adds that Benfica currently have ‘no intention’ of selling Florentino, but their president Rui Costa ‘will consider’ entering into talks at the end of the season.
The Portuguese maestro’s release clause would be extremely unaffordable, but should a cut-price opportunity arise, Everton majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is poised to make a move in the summer.
Indeed, if Florentino could keep up his current form in the Premier League for the Blues next season, he could help turn them into a much better side.
However, Liverpool have also registered an interest in the midfielder, so Everton could have some serious competition on their hands for his signature.
Florentino could take Everton to the next level
Everton have endured another very difficult start to the season, currently sitting in 16th place after winning just five of their 23 opening Premier League matches.
They have undergone somewhat of a resurgence since Dyche replaced Frank Lampard, with the former Burnley man winning two out of his three games in charge so far.
The Toffees’ main central midfielders this season have been Amadou Onana, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Idrissa Gana Gueye. However, with the latter being 33 years old, they are in need of a quality, more long-term option.
Florentino generally plays in a defensive midfield role, like Gueye, so he would make an ideal replacement for the Senegal international.
This season, the Benfica man ranks in the top 1% in Europe for the most interceptions and passes attempted per 90 minutes.
The midfielder can also operate as a number eight, where he has shown his ability to create chances at times, highlighting Florentino’s versatility.
With that in mind, it would be a massive coup for Everton to get a summer deal over the line for the highly-rated player.
If they want to avoid another relegation scrap next season (if they survive), Everton need to improve their squad significantly, and signing Florentino would be a marvellous start.
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