Benfica president Luís Felipe Vieira and intermediary César Boaventura have now given more details about Everton’s approach for the Eagles manager Rui Vitória last year.
The explanations were made after a tape with a conversation between the president and the intermediary after the Toffees’ approach was leaked by local outlets.
The tape showed that Everton had just had an offer for Marco Silva, who was at Watford at the time, rejected. Benfica’s plans was to offload Vitória to the Toffees, and then have a clear path to get to Silva.
But now Vieira comes with a different version, claiming that it was Everton who went after Vitória with a big salary offer, but the club rejected it.
“From the conditions I was told he would receive, I wouldn’t be me to cut off his legs. What would I do? What he earned and what they offered him… the difference was eight times more! You see, there is not an athlete who speaks badly of Benfica when he leaves. When Benfica can’t keep up with an offer, it’s not worth entertaining. And no one is irreplaceable…“, Vitória told TVI (via Record).
Speaking to TVI24 (via Observador), César Boaventura has also detailed the negotiations: “I had a close relationship with Bill Kenwright, one of Everton’s owners, and had a meeting scheduled for the following Friday in London. I got there and said that Benfica would not sell the manager for less than the clause and that the president didn’t want to let the manager go, that he would only let him leave if the salary was advantageous for him.”
“They made a verbal proposal. I called the manager’s agent who informed him, and the manager said: ‘let them talk to Benfica’. I called the president with a proposal of 7 million euros and he said ‘do not sell for less than 10 million and it’s not even worth talking about before the derby.’ The manager had knowledge, the agent was aware and the president knew.”
“Everton had Marco Silva as the first choice, Rui Vitória was the second choice given his ability to launch young players, which was the Everton project at the time”.
Interesting thing is that in the tape, Vieira said that they would make a discount for Everton to get him. Now, publicly, he claims that he was demanding more.