Premier League clubs Everton and Aston Villa are reportedly looking at wantaway Barcelona goalkeeper Neto as a transfer target for the summer.
According to SPORT, Barcelona are prepared to let go of out-of-favour goalkeeper Neto Murara in the summer transfer window later this year, sparking the interest of Premier League sides Everton and Aston Villa.
Neto has been with Barcelona since 2019 when he arrived from fellow La Liga club Valencia. However, he has hardly enjoyed a regular run in the starting XI and has had to settle for odd cup appearances and a game now and then when first-choice stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is out with injury.
As a result, despite spending close to three years at Camp Nou, Neto has featured just 20 times for Barcelona, in which he has kept seven clean sheets. The 32-year-old has been looking for a way out of the Catalan outfit since January last year, but the club have kept him around due to the lack of an experienced backup for ter Stegen.
However, with Inaki Pena proving himself on loan at Galatasaray in the ongoing season, Barcelona seem to be ready to place their faith in the La Masia ace and hand him the No. 2 spot, granting Neto his wishes of an exit. The Blaugrana are even willing to give him a letter of freedom if there are no suitors, but it seems like the Brazilian has found takers for him.
Everton have been linked with a move for the former Juventus goalkeeper in the past and have now rekindled their pursuit of him ahead of the summer transfer window. Jordan Pickford remains their undisputed first-choice custodian but has had an indifferent season, although he has been consistently let down by a leaky backline.
So, the Toffees wish to sign a new goalkeeper who can provide better competition to the English international and challenge him for the first-choice berth. With Asmir Begovic and Andy Lonergan out of contract in the summer, such a move would make sense for Everton, with Neto emerging as a target.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa have also shown an interest in the 32-year-old. But the report adds that they would only consider a move for the Barcelona ace if first-choice stopper Emiliano Martinez leaves. The Argentine international has been linked with some of the bigger clubs in the Premier League in the past, although those rumours have gone quiet in recent weeks.
But with the second-choice custodian, Robin Olsen, only on loan until the end of the season, Neto could be seen as a replacement if the Villans do not sign the Swede on a permanent deal.
As per the report, Barcelona would be willing to sell Neto for a fee of around €14 million but would also consider a loan deal with a permanent option included. It remains to be seen if either Premier League club launch a swoop for the Brazilian come summer.