Sporting CP winger Matheus Nunes has reportedly rejected interest from Everton and Newcastle United as he hopes to earn a summer switch to a high-profile Premier League club amid Chelsea links.
According to Thursday’s print edition of Portuguese newspaper O Jogo, as relayed by Goodison News, Matheus Nunes is expected to move to the Premier League this summer, but both Everton and Newcastle have been ruled out as potential destinations, with the 23-year-old Portuguese international hoping to join a top club in England.
Nunes has erupted into one of Europe’s most coveted midfielders after two impressive seasons with the Portuguese outfit. Since being promoted to Sporting CP’s senior team in 2020, he has played in 99 games across all competitions, directly contributing to 15 goals in the process. He also helped the capital club claim their first Primeira Liga title in 19 years in the 2020/21 season.
Despite having a £ 51 million release clause in his current contract that does not expire until the summer of 2026, the 23-year-old has been heavily linked with an exit from Sporting CP this summer.
Needless to say, he has become a man in demand in the transfer market thanks to his stellar displays in the UEFA Champions League last term. He is gaining a lot of attention from the clubs in the Premier League, with Everton, Newcastle, and Wolves all being credited with an interest in recent months.
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However, it appears that Newcastle, Everton, and Wolves have suffered a major setback in their pursuit of the Brazil-born midfielder, as he has turned down an offer from the Toffees, as well as approaches from the Magpies and Wolves, due to his desire to join a top Premier League club in the summer.
Chelsea are the only ‘Big Six’ club in the running to sign the 23-year-old, who seems to be in no rush to leave Portugal unless it is for the right project from a big club. Chelsea are preparing an offer worth € 45 million plus an additional € 5 million in add-ons for the midfield maestro. This news obviously comes as a hammer blow to other suitors.
Everton’s interest in the highly-rated midfielder is longstanding. They made Nunes a key target last summer and even held talks with the player’s parent club over a potential € 20 million bargain swoop. However, that ship looks to have sailed already, with its stock rising dramatically over the last few months, making it nearly impossible for the Toffees to strike a deal owing to their precarious financial situation.
As for Newcastle, a new striker and an explosive right-sided winger are probably their most pressing concerns, but they are also looking to strengthen other areas too, including midfield. Described as a number eight, Nunes has the tendency to operate both as a defensive and a box-to-box midfielder as required by his team.
An excellent passer, he is said to be a great ball-carrier with great energy and tenacity to cover ground and would have been a perfect fit in an anchor role with Joelinton and Bruno Guimaraes on either side of him, forming a solid, versatile and potent middle of the park for Eddie Howe & co. However, they will now have to turn their attention elsewhere as well.