Everton senior man jets into Spain, closes in on £28m record transfer - report
By Matt Farr
Everton are closing in on the signing of highly-rated Real Sociedad attacker Willian Jose, according to a report.
The Guardian report that Everton’s director of football Steve Walsh met with representatives from the Spanish club this week in an attempt to push through a deal ahead of the summer window for their top priority target.
It is understood that the 25-year-old has a buyout clause in his contract worth £33million, but Everton are confident they can strike an agreement at just £28million.
The fee would equal their current club transfer record, with Everton spending £28million to acquire Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea in 2014.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri is expected to back Ronald Koeman in the transfer market this summer, and a potential deal for the Brazilian attacker could be the first of many by the Merseyside club.
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Willian Jose has been in fine form for Real Sociedad this season, contributing 12 goals and three assists since his move from Deportivo Maldonado a year ago.
He signed a five-year-deal at the La Liga club, but the buyout clause in his contract could enable him to quit after just one year.
Football Insider verdict
In terms of his goalscoring record, Willian Jose would be fantastic addition to the Goodison Park ranks. Everton have few reliable goalscoring options besides Lukaku in their attack, with a number of players having tried and failed to make the cut – most recently, £13.5million flop Oumar Niasse. But the ongoing uncertainty over the long term future of Lukaku means that Everton may be in the market for an outright replacement, and not just a cover option. Willian Jose is at the top of Koeman’s wishlist, and with recruitment guru Steve Walsh fronting the charge, they are sure to land a player with considerable talent and potential.
In other Everton transfer news, this PL giant is set to go head-to-head with Chelsea for the signature of Everton’s star performer.