English Premier League outfit Everton on Monday appeared to move a step closer to landing midfielder Manuel Fernandes from Benfica.

Benfica only own 50% of the rights to Fernandes, who spent the second part of last season on loan at Goodison Park, and Everton - if they could negotiate a deal - would want to buy the player outright with no strings of the kind MSI had with West Ham over Carlos Tevez.

But the Portuguese club claim a formal offer has been made in a statement which read: "We have received an offer from Everton to acquire 50% of Manuel Fernandes´ rights. We are analysing Everton´s offer."

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