(Reuters) – 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 then Watford manager Silva to replace Ronald Koeman 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 British media of Everton’s attempt to sign Richarlison.
Everton eventually paid a reported 40 million pounds ($50.88 million) for 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.”
Meanwhile, Everton’s 20-year-old winger Nikola Vlasic has joined Russian side CSKA Moscow on a season-long loan.
(Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)