Everton target Andre Gomes told friends he would be open to a permanent move to Goodison Park before returning to FC Barcelona, according to the Daily Star.
Director of Football Marcel Brands and manager Marco Silva had shared before the season ended that they were keen to retain the Portugal international, but were waiting until the end of the campaign for the 25-year-old to make a decision on his future.
Likewise, Barcelona’s intention to sell Gomes has regularly been touted as they look to raise funds for their own summer spending, and had believed we would be the side who take the FC Porto product off their hands.
The midfielder has since returned to his parent side following the climax of the Premier League season, though, and we are still yet to make an official move to turn his loan into a permanent arrangement, even though the board are thought to have known of Gomes’ intention to remain a Blue.
It is suggested the board are instead holding out on making a move to sign Gomes permanently, as they feel his hopes of continuing his career at Goodison Park could help to drive his price down.
Barcelona have been claimed to want close to £30million for the Vila Nova de Gaia-born midfielder, who featured in 29 of our games under Silva in all competitions, and scored once and assisted two goals.
Our reported stance is unlikely to help our efforts greatly, however, as West Ham United have entered the race to land Gomes’ signature this summer, with manager Manuel Pellegrini placing the 29-cap international at the top of his shortlist.
The Irons have also returned to Barcelona with a fresh offer after seeing their initial £18million bid rejected, and have placed a £20m offer on the table. Although the Hammers may have to up their offer again to at least £25million, which the Daily Star understand they will be willing to do.