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By ESPN Staff
Jul 27, 2008

Sporting snub Everton's bid for Moutinho

Sporting Lisbon have turned down an £11.8million bid from Everton for star midfielder Joao Moutinho, the Portuguese club confirmed on Sunday.

Moutinho has been linked with a move to the Premier League outfit all summer and the 21-year-old publicly declared his desire for a transfer recently.

But the Portugal international's pleas have fallen on deaf ears as Sporting have flatly refused to let one of their most promising youngsters leave.

A statement on the club's official website revealed: 'Last Saturday the FIFA agent Pini Zahavi, with a letter of representation issued by Everton FC, visited the headquarters of the society to reveal the intention of the English club to offer 15million euros (£11.8million) for the acquisition of the sporting rights of the player Joao Moutinho, with the figure eventually increasing by an amount not yet determined if Everton FC qualify for the Champions League.

'The proposal was rejected outright, having told Mr Pini Zahavi, who acted in the dual capacity as representative of the player and Everton FC, that it was not the intention of Sporting to transfer the player.'

Sporting also underlined the fact that Moutinho's contract 'was substantially improved last year' and contains a 25million euro release clause which can only be exercised every summer before June 15.

The statement concluded by emphasising that as far as Sporting are concerned, Moutinho will remain at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

'Finally, (Sporting) reveals that the personal reasons that the player pleads to be transferred are completely unrelated to Sporting and the working relationship it maintains with the player and, as such, it cannot justify in any way an act of management that does not adequately defend the interests of the company and its shareholders.'

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