Everton have been linked with a mammoth move to sign Atletico Madrid defender Santiago Arias by El GOL Digital, but the price quoted makes the potential move rather questionable.
There is little doubt that we are in the market for a new right-back this summer, having been extensively linked with Paris Saint-Germain’s Thomas Meunier ever since the January window, and have now parted company with Jonjoe Kenny after he joined FC Schalke 04 on loan.
The Liverpool Echo even linked us with Arias earlier this month, amid a report claiming there is interest in Chelsea’s Reece James and Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, as both are liked by the club’s scouts for their efforts in the recent campaign.
As for Arias, he is a right-sided defender who has long been admired by our Director of Football Marcel Brands, and the Dutchman was instrumental in taking the Colombian to PSV Eindhoven back in 2013.
Brands even enjoys a close relationship with the 27-year-old and attempted to lure him to Merseyside last summer, but he moved to Spain instead in an £11million deal.
Life under Diego Simeone, though, has not been all that great for Arias, as he found himself benched for the final three league encounters of the term, having already seen his minutes drop on the back of a hamstring injury. The 48-cap Colombia international was able to record a combined 59 attempted tackles and 34 interceptions in his 25 La Liga games.
His numbers are not overly inspiring in reality, but El GOL Digital understand we would be willing to offer as much as €40million (£35.7m) to acquire his services, a staggering £24.7million more than Atleti spent to sign him last summer.
Even just spending the difference between the two sums to sign Arias after his one-year in Spain would be a high fee to pay, let alone making him one of the most expensive defenders of all time.