Everton’s £11.8m bid for Portuguese midfielder rejected – what now for the Toffees?

David Moyes deserves credit for steering Everton into the top five of the Premier League, without breaking the bank by doing so. Indeed, among his current squad, only Yakubu cost more than £10 million, a rare extravagance to ensure that the ‘goals for’ column would be bolstered last season.

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However, it appears that the Merseyside club are again prepared to spend big in order to bring Joao Moutinho to Goodison Park this summer. The Sporting Lisbon midfielder appears to be keen on the move, although his current club have confirmed that the Toffees’ initial offer for the player has been politely declined. The Daily Mail report that Moyes might have to stump up more cash to get his man.

Sporting have said they do not want to sell the Portugal playmaker and insist Everton have missed the June 15 deadline to activate the £19.7m release clause in his contract.

But Moutinho seems determined to join David Moyes’ side, saying: ‘I hope that the negotiations finish positively.’

Is this a ploy by the Portuguese club to get more money for their international, or will Everton be forced to look elsewhere in a bid to strengthen their squad? There’s no doubt that Moutinho would be a quality addition for the blue half of Merseyside, and there’s only so long that the Toffees can stay in the upper echelons of the Premier League if they spend considerably less than their rivals.

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