Palmeiras yesterday announced having reached an agrement for forward Deyverson, belonging to Levante but playing for this year’s Copa del Rey finalists Alavés, for € 5 million. The news came as a surprise: Palmeiras have been negotiating with Sport’s Diego Souza for two weeks and previously tried Fluminense’s Richarlison for the position. Other players, like Chilean Eduardo Vargas, were speculated. Palmeiras certainly flew under the radar on this one, beating (at least) Wolfsburg, Leverkusen and Porto to the chase.
Not that negotiations happened overnight: they reportedly initiated some 45 days ago, on request from Palmeiras coach Cuca. In Deyverson, Cuca sees a player with enough physical strength to fight off defenders, but also mobility to play outside the area. Barcelona coach Luis Enrique in May described the 26-year-old as one of the most dangerous strikers of La Liga, a complete player, physical but also technical. “Very good in the aerial game, a born fighter, always going after that second ball. A strong finisher, with fast transitions”, he concluded.
Negotiations with Deyverson dragged on a bit due to Levante’s initial reluctance to sell, but the forward’s wish tipped the scale. “At first, Deyverson was not interested in a transfer, he planned on remaining at Aláves”, his manager explains. “But as the offers started coming, both from Spain and other countries… In the end, he chose Palmeiras. The project they presented gave us confidence. We feel joining Palmeiras is a step forward, not simply a return to Brazil”.
Without doubt, Deyverson will grab one of the two remaining spots in Palmeiras’ Libertadores squad. If successful at his new club, through the increased visibility he might also catch national coach Tite’s attention.
Deyverson initiated his career at third-division Rio de Janeiro club Mangaratibense, from where, in 2012 and at the age of 20, he left for Benfica. From there he went on to defend Belenenses (POR), Köln, Levante and Alavés, playing a total of 141 games and scoring 38 goals. 1,87m tall and weighing 81kg, the forward is expected Thursday in São Paulo for his medical before signing a five-year contract.
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