Everton are confident of completing a deal for Malaga striker Sandro Ramirez after Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban was upheld.
Atletico had been favourites to sign Sandro, ahead of Everton, but on Thursday morning the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Fifa’s ban on Atletico signing players this summer. That decision has inevitably put Atletico out of the running for Sandro, and Everton believe they now have a clear run to sign the 21-year-old.
Sandro is a graduate of FC Barcelona’s famous academy La Masia and he featured in the first team under Luis Enrique at the age of 19. Finding senior opportunities limited there, Sandro left Barcelona for Malaga where he enjoyed an excellent first season, scoring 14 La Liga goals as Malaga finished 11th.
But Sandro has a €6million (£5.1m) release clause so is easily affordable for Everton. Their transfer supremo Steve Walsh has identified him as a striker whose skills and character would transition well to the Premier League. They have agreed a deal in principle with Sandro and are now confident of completing it.
Sandro could be Everton’s second signing of the summer, as they are close to completing the deal to bring right-back Cuco Martina to Goodison Park from Southampton following his release by Southampton.
Everton target Sandro Ramirez has said that he is in no rush to sign for a big club. The Malaga forward is delaying a decision about his future until after his duties with the Spain under-21 side is over.
He said, “It’s true that I have a low clause, but right now I am still a Malaga player and I want to focus on the national team. I am in no rush to sign for a big club… I try to avoid all they’re saying about me.”
Sandro impressed last season after scoring 14 goals in the La Liga, which was the most out of all players playing for clubs on the bottom half of the standings.
Though Atletico Madrid were the favorites to snap up the youngster, the decision to uphold their transfer ban means that Everton are now in pole position.