By George Overhill

14th Jan, 2022 | 9:10pm

Everton target David Neres moves from Ajax to Shakhtar Donetsk

Everton have missed out on reported transfer target David Neres after the Ajax winger moved to Shakhtar Donetsk on a permanent deal.

In a statement on their website on Friday the Dutch club confirmed the fee was for €12million, with variables potentially seeing the total rise to €16million.

It had previously been reported (Jeunes Footeux) that Everton were interested in signing the Brazilian once it became clear he was leaving the Netherlands.

Other priorities

With reasonable options available in the wide areas at Goodison in the form of Demarai Gray, Anthony Gordon and the returning Andros Townsend this transfer would not have been the top priority.

The club did still add Anwar El Ghazi on loan from Aston Villa in that department, which may have put pay to the likelihood that they would have acquired Neres.

The price for a proven Champions League performer is relatively modest and could have tempted a Premier League side like Everton to bid.

UOL Deportes in Brazil had previously reported that it would take at least £16.7million to tempt the Dutch giants into parting with the player but it appears that they were willing to accept less.

After rising to prominence across Europe as part of the exciting Ajax side that almost reached the Champions League final before falling to Tottenham, Neres’ form has dipped in the intervening years to the point that he was available for a cut-price fee.

In this case, it is probably sensible that Everton did not risk the transfer while they are stuck in a potential relegation battle.

Manager Rafael Benitez has also added in the full-back area with the arrivals Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson.

He is thought to want Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff but a transfer has so far proved elusive.

In other Everton news, the manager has warned that the club may have a player with Covid-19.