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Everton tried to sign former Real Madrid defender

Instead of Mangala we almost had...

Barcelona v Espanyol - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by Urbanandsport/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Everton apparently inquired about Espanyol’s Mario Hermoso during the January window. Catalonian paper Sport did a full write up on this detailing the Toffees’ interest, with the Blues making a €7million and Espanyol’s desire to get at least €15m.

Everton didn’t miss anything here. Hermoso is probably worth the €7m they offered, maybe worth as high as €10m in an inflated market especially for a player headed to the Premier League. However, Real Madrid holds first rights to buy back at €15m and given the season Hermoso is having they may well take that flyer so that they can benefit later.

All La Liga players have buyout clauses and Hermoso’s is at about €40m, so in any negotiations for the player that is not really going to come into play yet. However, with 18 league starts for the Periquitos he is a legitimate top flight starting player. I certainly would have been happier with this acquisition than I was for the one for Eliaquim Mangala and he has that left footed thing that Big Sam apparently thinks is so rare, but realistically we just weren’t in the right position to move this over the line. Espanyol is going to take their chances that they can get the buyback from Real Madrid and if not, they’ll be able to get something around what we offered them pretty cheap.

Mario Hermoso 2017-18 season characteristics

Hermoso wasn’t some star in the making at Real Madrid, he’s not some wonderkid, he’s a 22 year old building a nice career as a starter on a top flight level. He likely wouldn’t have been what we needed in our second CB spot long term, and I’m not broken up that we missed out on him, though I am glad that we are willing to look, and that taking Mangala on loan didn’t represent the full extent of our outside-the-box thinking while defender shopping in January.