Danny Mills has tipped Everton to fend off West Ham and other clubs to win the race to sign Andre Gomes this summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England defender is convinced the Merseysiders are in the “box seat” to land the Portugal international from Barcelona.
Gomes, 25, spent last season on loan at Everton after failing to establish himself as a first choice at Barcelona and made a strong impression on the club and the Premier League in general.
“Everton are in the box seat to sign a player who’s the real deal,” Mills told Football Insider. “He has proved he is a very good player after taking a few months to settle in, which is common for players joining from overseas leagues.
“It probably took three to four months before we saw the best of him, but there’s no doubt he’s a quality midfielder.”
West Ham have bid £21million for Gomes and there is also interest in him from other Premier League clubs, although Tottenham have pulled the plug on their pursuit.
Barcelona are keen to get £30million for the midfielder, who was on the fringes of their side before joining Everton on loan last summer.
“There is a deal to be done for Everton,” Mills added to Football Insider. “He is Portugese and will be thinking, ‘where will I be most happy?’
“If I was in charge of Everton’s recruitment, I would be going straight back to Barcelona and saying, ‘can we buy him permanently?’ A price of between £20million and £30million is a good one.”