Everton have made Benfica a £6million offer for the Portuguese midfielder Manuel Fernandes.
The 21-year-old spent a successful spell on loan at Goodison Park at the end of last season, scoring twice in nine appearances for David Moyes' side.
The Everton boss had been keen to sign the player on a permanent basis earlier in the summer, but was put off by Benfica's £12million price tag.
The Portuguese side share ownership of Fernandes with Kia Joorabchian's MSI group and Everton were initially reluctant to enter into a third-party ownership deal.
Their £6million offer is only for Benfica's 50 per cent holding in the player.
"We have received an offer from Everton to acquire 50 per cent of Manuel Fernandes' rights," said a statement from Benfica.
"We are analysing Everton's offer."
Fernandes, who also spent time on loan with Portsmouth last season, is under contract with Benfica for another four years.