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Everton have revealed that they are chasing Sporting Lisbon playmaker Joao Moutinho.

The 21-year-old is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in Europe and was expected to attract a host of interest this summer following a number of impressive displays for Portugal at Euro 2008.

The Toffees had initially ruled themselves out of the running for the talented youngster, but are keen are to bolster their midfield options following the departure of veteran Lee Carsley to Birmingham.

Club director Keith Wyness confirmed that Moutinho had been identified as a potential transfer target and is hopeful that an agreement can be reached.

"The arrival of Joao Moutinho is a big possibility for us," Wyness is quoted as saying in A Bola.

Sporting are thought to be demanding around 20million euros (£16million) for the player, but Everton are hoping that a complex bid involving a number of future bonuses will suffice.

New Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scloari had also been rumoured to be interested in a player he held in high regard during his time as Portugal coach, but the Blues have since denied that they have any intention of making an approach.,19528,11661_3842672,00.html
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