As per a report from Spanish outlet Sport, Everton are on the verge of securing the permanent signing of Barcelona midfielder Andre Gomes.
25-year-old Portuguese international Gomes made the big-money move to Barcelona from Valencia in the summer of 2016.
The Blaugrana splashed out an initial 35 million Euro, plus a potential 20 million in bonuses on his signature, beating off competition from fierce rivals Real Madrid to secure Gomes’ arrival.
However, the gifted midfielder’s two campaigns in Catalunya subsequently proved one massive disappointment.
Gomes looked a shell of the splendid midfield all-rounder he had previously proven himself to be with Valencia, with a seemingly-perpetual lack of confidence and all-round sluggishness having resulted in the 29-time capped international starting just 6 La Liga games during the 2017/18 season.
As such, it came as little surprise when Gomes was inevitably linked with a Barcelona departure last summer.
In the end, despite links with the likes of Juventus and Tottenham, the Benfica youth product eventually made the surprise move to Everton in August:
And, following early-season injury troubles, Gomes subsequently went on to establish himself as a vital cog in the Toffees’ midfield ranks over the months that followed.
The Portuguese star rediscovered much of the confidence which had been missing from his game over the last couple of seasons, with Gomes’ drive and creative influence one of the key factors behind Everton’s run of just one loss in 10 Premier League outings between the end of October and the middle of December.
As such, Toffees’ boss Marco Silva unsurprisingly went on to confirm that the Merseysiders would attempt to make the midfielder’s move to Goodison Park permanent, come the summer:
‘I don’t have doubts about his value. He’s a high quality player. And anything we can to sign someone like him will be important for us.’
‘Let’s see in the future what we can do.’
Gomes’ performances subsequently proved somewhat hit-and-miss at times , with the 25-year-old having actually sat out 3 of Everton’s last 4 fixtures of the season through suspension, following a nasty stamp on Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrović in April.
Goodison return imminent
Nevertheless, though, few suggestions were forthcoming that the Everton board had been swayed in their judgement that Gomes would prove an excellent permanent addition to their squad this summer.