Evertonians will likely baulk in the same manner as their Wolves counterparts after their Premier League rivals were met with a ludicrously exorbitant price tag when they enquired about a Brazilian target.
Gremio winger Pepe, who plays in the top division of Brazilian football, was the reported subject of transfer interest from Wolves, Everton and West Ham in the Premier League during the summer, and the club’s vice-president has since spoken publicly on the interest surrounding the player.
The 23-year-old is an accomplished versatile attacker and can play anywhere across the front line. According to the Birmingham Mail, Pepe has impressed for the Brazilian giants – so much so that his agent was supposedly due to fly to England for discussions with the Wolverhampton club about a possible deal.
The player, whose full name is Eduardo Gabriel Aquino Cossa, had a bid of £13.5m rejected by his current club – who then demanded almost 10 times that amount.
That amounts to a whopping £130m, with the nine-figure sum unsurprisingly causing prospective suitors to turn away from the prolific winger. This development was then subsequently confirmed by Gremio vice-president Claudio Oderich in quotes reported by O Jogo.
“Pepe will be more complete than Everton (Soares). Everton is not doing well at Benfica. I’ll take Pepe,” bragged Oderich.
“If you pay the £130 million release clause, we will not be able to keep him. Otherwise, Pepe stays until the end of the season.”
Pepe was a direct replacement for former winger Everton Soares, with the winger who shares his name with the Merseyside club joining Benfica in the summer.
Pepe has currently amassed 16 goals and assists in just 27 appearances this year, surpassing the tally that ex-Gremio ace Everton managed in the previous season.
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The high release clause is a staple tactic of negotiations. It provides a leveraging anchor for selling clubs who can use the clause to protect the value of key assets.
Unsurprisingly, an unwillingness to part with a player for anything less is indicative of a club which sees Pepe as part of their immediate future.
It may well be that Gremio wish to drive up the value of their winger and spark a future bidding war – meaning more profit for them than may be justifiable at present.
Either way, Pepe would not come any cheaper for Everton as he would for Wolves, or indeed any other suitor.