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Everton target prefers move to England despite Real Madrid interest

The Toffees have been tracking the youngster for some time and could make a summer move

FC Porto v FC Schalke 04 - UEFA Champions League Group D Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Everton have been given a boost in their pursuit of Porto defender Eder Militao with reports the Brazil international is keen on a move to England.

As reported by Brazilian outlet UOL via Sport Witness, Militao is ready to turn down a move to Real Madrid in order to push for a transfer to the Premier League.

The 20-year-old cost just €4m (£3.6m) from Sao Paulo last summer but has made an immediate impact at the Estadio do Dragao, with Everton following his progress from as early as September.

Militao began the season at right-back but has been equally impressive since moving into the centre of defence alongside fellow Brazilian Felipe.

The Portuguese champions are currently five points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga table and comfortably won their Champions League group, setting up a last 16 tie with Roma.

A key component of their success over the past 20 years has been the ability to sign young South American players for relatively cheap before selling on for a huge profit a few years later.

Militao, who has a £42.5m release clause in this contract, looks like being the next player to roll off the production line with Porto ready to sell him next summer.

Everton are expected to move for a right-back at the end of the season with doubts over the ability of Seamus Coleman and Jonjoe Kenny.

However, it pays to note that Militao would prefer to play at centre-back as he feels that is where he would get the most opportunities at international level.

To that end the youngster is wary of moving to Real Madrid, where he would have to compete Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane for a first-team place.

A move to the Premier League therefore is his preference, though the Toffees would reportedly face competition from Manchester United and Liverpool for his signature.

Though the need for a centre-back isn’t as pressing as right-back, the expected departure of Phil Jagielka and return to Chelsea of loan signing Kurt Zouma would leave Marco Silva with just three senior central defenders - Mason Holgate, Michael Keane and Yerry Mina.

Militao’s versatility (he can also play defensive midfield, as well as right-back and centre-back) would also appeal to Silva, though he and Marcel Brands would need to pull out all the stops to persuade him to move to Goodison ahead of their north-west rivals.