Manchester City have reportedly taken the first step towards pipping local rivals Manchester United for the signing of Brazilian forward Everton Soares.

According to a report from ESPN Brasil, Manchester City have stolen a march on bitter rivals Manchester United in the race to sign Gremio attacker Everton Soares, by tabling an offer worth £55 million for the 22-year-old.

Everton has been with the Brazilian outfit for over six years now and made his first-team debut back in September 2014 at the age of 14. Since then, the versatile forward has gone on to make 132 appearances for the club, netting 31 goals and setting up 9 more.

In the ongoing campaign, the 22-year-old has scored 10 goals in 28 league appearances. His impressive performances were rewarded with a call-up to the Brazil national team in September last year. The forward has featured twice for the Selecao till date, but is yet to score a goal on the international stages.

Manchester City were believed to be monitoring Everton last year as well and have reportedly made their interest official now by submitting an offer of £55 million for the Brazilian. And the speculation has been further fuelled by the player unfollowing Gremio on his Instagram account and changing his photo, which originally showed him wearing the Brazilian club’s kit.

Everton’s representatives were quick to brush off the incident on Instagram, stating that unfollowing Gremio had happened by mistake while they ‘cleaned’ their client’s social media accounts. But that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from buzzing.

Set to don the blue of Manchester City (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

Set to don the blue of Manchester City (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

Manchester City’s bitter rivals Manchester United were also monitoring the 22-year-old Everton, but are believed to have cooled off their interest in the Brazil international, clearing the way for the reigning Premier League champions to get their man.

The Cityzens have developed a habit of recruiting young and promising talents from the South American continent in recent years. Pep Guardiola’s side have brought in the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Marlos Moreno and Douglas Luiz from South America over the past couple of years.

While Jesus has been a huge success at the club, Marlos hasn’t been able to make the grade and has been loaned out to Deportivo La Coruna, Girona and most recently to Flamengo. Midfielder Luiz too is currently away on loan at La Liga side Girona.

Everton is a versatile forward, who can play anywhere across the frontline, but is at his best playing out on the left flank. An excellent dribbler of the ball, the 22-year-old has the pace and creativity to back it up, which makes him a potent weapon in the final third.

Everton still has over three years left on his contract with Gremio, having signed an extension in August last year. But his social media activity hints that a move away may well be on the cards. And Manchester City will be hoping that he will follow in the footsteps of compatriot Jesus and prove to be a big success at the Etihad, should they be able to land their man.

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