Sporting Lisbon claim they have turned down an £11.8m offer from Everton for midfielder Joao Moutinho.
Moutinho, 21, has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs following his impressive performances for Portugal during Euro 2008.
Moutinho has a £19.7m buy-out clause in his contract but this can only be exercised before 15 June each year. If that price is met after this date then certain requirements have to be met for any deal to go through.
“(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,” read a statement on the Sporting website.
“… 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.”