In perhaps the clearest indication yet that Everton is planning for life without number one Jordan Pickford, according to recent reports, the Toffees are keen on signing Barcelona backup shot-stopper, Neto.
That’s according to a recent report from Spanish outlet Sport, who claim the Catalan giants are happy for their Brazilian goalkeeper to move on this summer.
Neto, 32, has been with Barcelona since he arrived from Valencia in 2019 in a deal worth £23.4m.
Since then the 32-year-old has been forced to take up a bit-part role on his side’s bench, continually playing second fiddle to number one Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
However, with his deal set to expire next summer and his employers keen to recoup some money for his services, this summer’s transfer window could see the South American offered a route out of the Nou Camp.
Although a move to Goodison Park is likely to hinge massively on Everton’s top-flight status, Neto is understood to be a top target and one that could be available for as little as £12m (€15m).
Pickford heading for possible Everton exit?
Although manager Frank Lampard has recently heaped the praise on Pickford, 28, should the Toffees be relegated to the Championship, the club will undoubtedly find it difficult to keep hold of the England number one.
Speaking earlier this year about what it is like to manage Pickford, Lampard, as quoted by Goodison News, said: “I have loved working with Jordan and anyone who holds that England number one shirt as long as he has, holds a huge burden.
“It is a pressurised position, on a national level, and he carries that brilliantly.
“A goalkeeper is analysed individually and to the highest degree as an England player.
“Working with him is a pleasure, he is low maintenance, works hard and makes saves and wants to win for the team.”
Since joining Everton from Sunderland in 2017, Pickford has gone on to feature in 188 senior matches, in all competitions, keeping 51 clean sheets along the way.
The 28-year-old, who is currently valued at £22.5m (Transfermarkt) has a contract that is set to expire in 2024.