Having already bolstered their attacking ranks with the signing of Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie, Everton are back in the market for another wide man and are reportedly homing in on Porto’s Yacine Brahimi.
The Toffees are alleged to be in negotiations with the Dragoes over a transfer, though it has been suggested the Algerian is hanging on for one of England’s Champions League representatives to enter the reckoning.
Lauded for his skillful dribbling, Brahimi has found the net 21 times in 77 appearances for the Portuguese kingpins so far and claimed the BBC’s equivalent of the African Player of the Year award in 2014.
His pedigree is excellent and this, coupled with the fact he’s moving from a known exporter of elite talent, suggests he’d be a fine acquisition, but the fortunes of Porto predecessors in the Premier League would argue the opposite.
Regarded by European football’s fat cats as an outpost from where talented players’ mettle can be tested in the Champions League before deciding whether they’re worth an investment, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side sell prized assets on an annual basis, typically for extravagant sums.
The Premier League’s flushest shoppers have occasionally bought there, but the wares they’ve come away with quite often have failed to match the outlay.
Chelsea once shrewdly lured Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho from Porto after they’d claimed the 2003/04 Champions League, though the Blues having crowbarred their manager Jose Mourinho out of the Estadio do Dragao beforehand infinitely minimised the risk. The pair proved integral in the west Londoners winning numerous titles in the years that followed.
Blackburn Rovers did well when taking another member of the team that conquered the continent too, Benni McCarthy in this case. The South African notched 52 goals in 140 appearances.
Other than the above, success stories are hard to come by.
Manchester United were fleeced to the tune of £26m, depending on where you get your sports news from, for Anderson.
Their cross-town foes Manchester City splurged a fee that has been reported to have crossed the £40m-threshold to sign Eliaquim Mangala who, two years later, seemingly has no future at the Etihad under Pep Guardiola. Judging by the lack of game time for the Frenchman’s former Porto teammate Fernando so far this term, he might well be out of the picture too.
Other famous, though less-expensive duds, include ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker Helder Postiga, Chelsea’s perma-loan winger Christian Atsu and Raul Meireles, who featured regularly for the Blues and Liverpool, though can hardly be considered a success due to the short nature of his stints at both clubs.
Elsewhere, the jury remains out on Stoke City’s record signing Gianelli Imbula.
Everton’s wildest dreams for 2016/17 involve qualification for the Champions League (available to back at 9/1) and steering clear of Brahimi looks more likely to aid their ambitious pursuit than harm it.