A player held up as one of the most promising in Africa has long been linked with a move away from Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
Egyptian centre back Ramy Rabia is set to be the centre of a transfer tussle this summer, with a host of European clubs looking to recruit a player seen as one of his country's top talents.
Sky Sports yesterday reported that one of Portugal's 'Big Three' have begun the bidding process, in an attempt to gazump Arsenal and the many other Premier League teams that are also circling.
Sporting Lisbon, who achieved an excellent second position finish ahead of Porto in the league last season, bid just £500,000 for the youngster, an offer that was quickly rejected by Al Ahly.
It is sure to be just the start of the chase for Egypt international, with both Arsenal and Hull expressing interest in taking the defender on trial last year, requests that were also turned down by his club.
Craig Honeymoon, managing director of the agency that represent Rabia, said that Sporting were still talking to the Egyptian league leaders: "Sporting Lisbon have made an offer, but Al Ahly have told us this is not enough.
"Talks are continuing, but there is interest from the Premier League and elsewhere in Europe."
Both Manchester United and Chelsea have also been linked with the 21-year-old in the past, while Hull's Egyptian connections continues to see them as possible suitors for the talented defender.