New Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag wants a No.9 and the club have their eye on Porto‘s Evanilson, but the Brazilian could cost them in the region of 80 million euros.
The Red Devils have already had an opening bid of 60 million euros (plus five million in add-ons) rejected by the Portuguese club. An improved offer of 70 million is being prepared, but the Dragons are holding out for the 80 million stated in his release clause.
One thing’s certain and that’s that if the 22-year-old does leave Porto this summer, he will become their most expensive sale of all time. The record is currently held by the sale of Eder Militao to Real Madrid for 50 million euros.
21 goals in 46 games
Evanilson arrived at the Dragao from Fluminense in 2020 for 8.8 million euros. After a season of adaptation and spending some time in the B team, he enjoyed a breakthrough year.
In 46 games for Porto in 2021/22, Evanilson has scored 21 goals, making him the team’s second-top goalscorer after Mehdi Taremi (26 in 48).
“I’m playing at a good level, but I’m not at my best yet,” Evanilson told Lance recently.
“I’ll keep working to keep growing and if a big team comes in…”
‘Lewanilson’, ‘Evan Basten’, ‘Evanilshow’…
Evanilson‘s stellar season and playing style have drawn plenty of nicknames and comparisons to other centre forwards. His idol growing up, however, was none other than potential future teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
“I like the nickname ‘Lewanilson’,” Evanilson told Betanomag.
“They gave it to me when I was at Fluminense.
“It’s a reference to [Robert] Lewandowski, who is one of the best strikers in the world and a role model.”
Switch to striker
Evanilson may be seen as the solution to Manchester United‘s search for a No.9, but he wasn’t always a centre forward.
It was Gustavo Leal, who coached Evanilson for Fluminense and Brazil under-23s, who moved the Fortaleza native inside from the wing.
“When I met him he was a winger. He had a good physique and linked up play well, so I thought that if I played him through the middle his productivity would increase,” Leal told MaisFutebol.
Stint in Slovakia
Porto were not Evanilson‘s first European club. In fact, he had a spell with Samorin in Slovakia in 2018.
Fluminense had an agreement with the Slovakian club and occasionally sent players on loan there. Evanilson scored three goals in six games in the Slovakian second-tier before returning to Fluminense.
A year prior to his first European adventure, Evanilson considered giving it all up after the sudden death of his mother, Madalena.
“He really felt like packing it all in and walking away from football,” Jose Neto, his first coach, told MaisFutebol.
“They had a lovely relationship and Evanilson‘s world caved in. He put football to one side for a while.
“Fortunately he was strong enough to turn it all around.”
World Cup dreams
Two appearances at under-23 level are the extent of Evanilson‘s international career, but he is still dreaming big with Qatar 2022 on the horizon.
A move to Manchester United would certainly make him hard to ignore.