Everton are leading the race to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, according to reports in Portugal.
A Bola reports that the Toffees have held talks with Carvalho’s agent to discuss a potential move to Goodison Park.
The Portugal international, who played 24 times as Sporting finished third in the Portuguese Primeira Liga last season, is valued at around €40m. Carvalho plays as a defensive midfielder and has also caught the attention of West Ham United and Juventus.
However, Everton hold an advantage over other clubs, because manager Marco Silva worked with Carvalho in a one-year spell in Lisbon during the 2014-15 season. Carvalho made 41 appearances in all competitions that campaign.
Sporting are now prepared to let the 26-year-old, who graduated from their academy in 2011, leave the club.
The Portuguese giants face a fight to keep a number of their star men and could also lose the likes of Bas Dost and Bruno Fernandes – linked with Liverpool and Tottenham – this summer.
Another of their prized asset, Gelson Martins, meanwhile, has been the subject of a failed €30million offer from Arsenal – with Manchester United and Liverpool also keen.
The Portuguese giants are in disarray after their ultras reportedly staged an attack on the Sporting players at their training ground after they missed out on qualifying for next season’s Champions League on the final day of the season.
Furthermore, Sporting president Bruno De Carvalho has threatened to suspend 19 players following a public row over their performance levels.
Carvalho, meanwhile, will get the chance to add to his 42 international caps this summer, as he travels to the World Cup with Portugal.