Everton have confirmed the signing of Sporting Lisbon defender Eric Dier on a season-long loan and, according to local sources, are targeting Derry City starlet James McLean.
Seventeen-year-old defender Dier joined the Toffees on a temporary basis in January and, after a number of commanding displays for the Under 18s, David Moyes has secured the teenager’s services once again.
He was a prominent figure for the youth team as they triumphed in the national academy league final in May, and has been tipped to make a permanent switch to Goodison Park if he continues his impressive progress.
The capture of Dier for another season is considered quite a coup for the Toffees, who must now await international clearance before he can re-join the club for the pre-season schedule.
Having been born in Cheltenham, Dier and his family moved to Portugal when he was seven, and Sporting recruited him to their academy only a year later.
Arsenal and Manchester United were allegedly monitoring the progress of Dier, but he penned professional terms with Sporting in 2010, before his move to Everton.
Meanwhile, Moyes has been looking across the Irish Sea for fresh talent and, having had success with Seamus Coleman, has earmarked 22-year-old James McLean of Derry City.
West Ham and Blackpool are also said to be chasing McLean, and he says: “There have been quite a few rumours flying around over recent weeks regarding my future, but no one has said anything to me officially.
"Until that becomes the case, I want to concentrate on improving and playing well for Derry. Every player wants to improve and play at the highest level possible and I’m no different."