Everton manager Roberto Martinez made a personal check on Bruno Martins Indi during Holland's training session in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday as he ponders attempting to hijack Manchester United's move for the towering central defender, according to the Daily Mail.
Martinez is in Rio to double up commentary work with some summer scouting as he weighs up how best to spend Everton's limited transfer budget on quality recruits, which led him to Estadio da Gavea and a closer inspection of the Netherlands.
Martins Indi is believed to be the main target of his scouting efforts, a defensive starlet who has been tracked consistently by United as part of a potential £30m double deal also involving Feyenoord team-mate Jordy Clasie.
The 22-year-old was a big part of Holland's impressive World Cup qualifying campaign and has the faith of Netherlands supremo and new United boss Louis van Gaal to marshal central defence, already making 16 appearances at international level.
United definitely need a new central defensive linchpin and Martins Indi has done enough to produce strong comparisons with Red Devils legend Jaap Stam in three full seasons at Feyenoord, thanks to a 6'2'' frame and a commanding presence to match his aerial ability.
The starlet's talents are in demand though and Everton are just the latest club to consider making a summer swoop, with the promise of consistent first-team football in the Premier League and a manager in Martinez with a proven track record of giving youth a chance.
Everton are also looking at his Dutch team-mate Jeremain Lens and Stefan de Vrij, but its Martins Indi that has undoubtedly attracted the most attention.
Man United and Holland legend Ruud van Nistelrooy was also at the session and was spotted sharing a lengthy conversation with Martinez, although the pair kept their chat concealed beind well-placed hands.
A stark reality for United fans and transfer supremo's this summer is that they can't offer something almost any credible rival for a top talent can, European football.
Van Gaal's pulling power holds they key to signing the likes of Martins Indi and more established stars though, as he hopes to persuade transfer targets that they should put Champions League ambitions on hold for one season to join his Old Trafford revolution.
Expect managers, scouts and chief executives to be sniffing round the Dutch squad more than most though, with Martinez joining the list of admirers as Van Gaal attempts to turn promise into a winning side, starting with Friday's daunting World Cup opener against defending champions Spain.
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