'Laughed when I heard': Everton and Fulham links with £21m ace stuns pundit

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Premier League duo Everton and Crystal Palace want Zaidu Sanusi and his development at FC Porto is proof of the value that can be found in the lower leagues, former Sporting Lisbon advisor Rui Barreiro tells Sport TV. 

As recently as 2018/19, the talented left-back was plying his trade for a Mirandela SC side who finished sixth in the third-tier of Portuguese football. 

Just three years later, Zaidu was scoring the goal that secured Porto the Primeira Liga title, netting a dramatic winner during a 1-0 triumph over bitter rivals Benfica no less. It’s been quite the rise for a player who joined Porto from Santa Clara for a cool £3.6 million during the summer of 2020. 

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“According to what I heard before coming to the studio, FC Porto would have refused an offer of 25 million euros (£21m, for Zaidu),” says Barreiro. “I laughed when I heard that.  

“Zaidu played for Mirandela in 2018. He was not an top-flight player. He even played for Gil Vicente on loan but nobody looked at him. (In the end) Santa Clara went to get him.” 

Crystal Palace, Everton and Fulham want Zaidu Sanusi

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Porto could soon be rewarded for their faith in the late-blooming Nigeria international. A host of Premier League clubs are reportedly willing to stump up an eight-figure sum. 

According to O Jogo, Everton and Crystal Palace are keen. As are Brighton and Fulham. It remains to be seen whether any of the aforementioned quartet can succeed where West Ham failed. The London giants saw a deadline-day move for Zaidu collapse nearly 12 months ago. 

“We got the message that the coach (Sergio Conceicao) wanted him to stay,” Zaidu’s agent said at the time. “It was unexpected as we thought he had one foot out of the club.” 

The jet-heeled full-back – dubbed ‘the quickest player I’ve ever seen in my life’ by Porto team-mate Toni Martinez – is one of a number of talented left-siders linked with newly-promoted Fulham. The Cottagers have seemingly cooled their interest in Real Betis’ Alex Moreno. Though Luca Pellegrini of Juventus and Javi Galan of Celta Vigo remain on the radar.

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