Everton’s director of football Marcel Brands has said the furore surrounding the pursuit of manager Marco Silva meant they had to pay over the odds to get Watford forward Richarlison last month.
Everton had targeted Silva to replace Ronald Koeman — then Watford manager — last November but were refused permission to approach him. Silva was eventually sacked by the Hornets in January and named Everton’s new boss in May.
Without naming Everton, Watford criticised the Merseyside club for their interest in Silva, which they believed unsettled the manager and affected a squad that had began the season well and reached fourth in the table.
“We thought it would be a very difficult one because of the history of the clubs,” Brands told reporters of Everton’s attempt to sign Richarlison.
Everton eventually paid a reported £40 million the 21-year-old Brazilian.
“We were both convinced about him [but] I think with the situation with Watford, we had to pay a little bit more. I think maybe the market value was a little bit lower but, at the end, we are happy with him.”
Everton also signed Yerry Mina from Barcelona on the Premier League’s transfer deadline day last Thursday. The centre-back had been a target for Manchester United, but ESPN reports that interest ended when the Colombia international’s advisors asked for what has been described as a “ridiculous” fee.
However, Brands denied it was the case that Everton’s willingness to pay those extra costs was the reason they were able to sign Mina ahead of United.
“No, no, it was really simple behind the scenes,” Brands said when asked about that aspect of the deal.
“I put the offer in and Barcelona asked for a totally different amount that we would never have paid. Then they said, ‘Ok, we will wait until the end of the market.’
“We never changed our offer. That was a bit of gamble because everyone was writing about Man United and Barcelona used that, agents used that, everyone used it. I don’t know exactly if Man United were in. The player said constantly to me, ‘I want to go to Everton.’
“That was a great thing for us but you never know if Man United comes in and offers an extra £150,000 a week — every player would like to do that. I don’t know exactly the situation with Man United, but of course Barcelona used it. They said to me, ‘Man United are coming in.’ I don’t know if they did but I took a bit of a risk with that. That’s why we were also keen on back-ups, you never know, but after the weekend before the market closed I had a confident feeling about it.”
Meanwhile, Everton’s 20-year-old winger Nikola Vlasic has joined Russian side CSKA Moscow on a season-long loan.