Everton face paying an increased fee to complete any potential summer transfer of Sporting CP midfielder Wendel, according to A Bola via Sport Witness.
The Toffees have a long-held interest in Wendel following discussions with the Brazil Under 23 international’s agent over the winter, when Fiorentina and OGC Nice also vocalised their admiration.
No formal offers were put forward at the time, but Sporting are moving to set the market ahead of any summer bids given the improved form seen from Wendel since Bruno Fernandes departed the Liga NOS outfit for Manchester United in January.
Wendel was tasked with taking over Fernandes’ role in the side and stepped up to his new responsibilities with one goal and two assists in the Portuguese top-flight, adding to his earlier strikes against SC Braga and Gil Vicente.
Sporting were thought to have valued Wendel at €20million (£18m) during the winter amid murmurs of interest in England, Italy and France but now believe the 22-year-old to be worth no less than €35m (£31.6m) and will vigorously stick at that base figure.
Sporting are in no need to accept a low-ball offer for Wendel should any interest emerge, with it unknown at this time if Everton are preparing to revive their winter pursuit.
Wendel is under contract until the summer of 2023, while his deal features a €60m (£54.2m) release clause which gives Sporting a strong hand should any talks occur.
Should Brands offer Sporting €35m for Wendel?
What €35m would get Everton remains somewhat to be seen as while Wendel started 26 of his 28 Liga NOS appearances this season, the 22-year-old only averaged 1.2 key balls per 90 minutes plus 0.6 shots, 1.7 successful dribbles, 0.4 aerial duels won, 0.7 interceptions and lost possession 1.3 times through unsuccessful touches and was dispossessed 1.2 times, per WhoScored.
Everton would clearly be banking on potential with a summer transfer, in the hopes of seeing Wendel replicate Fernandes’ Premier League success after he offered Manchester United their fourth-most goals (eight) and most assists (seven) despite only playing half of the 2019/20 campaign.