Watford stole a march on one of their main competitors for Richarlison's signature in the summer because they were prepared to pay up-front for the 20-year-old wonderkid, it has been reported.

Calciomercato, an Italian-based news outlet, says seven-time European Cup winners AC Milan were offered the flying forward in the summer, but wanted to pay his parent club Fluminense over a longer period.

Watford's eagerness to get the youngster through the door eventually won the day, under the nose of Dutch side Ajax, who the player himself admits were favourites for his signature before a phone call from Marco Silva changed all that.

Richarlison has been a revelation in his debut Premier League season at Watford, scoring five goals and making another three in 14 games.