Fulham look at Sporting midfielder

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 23: Stijn Schaars #8 of Sporting Clube De Portugal passes against Juventus FC during their World Football Challenge friendly match on July 23, 2011 at BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Fulham and Sunderland are keeping tabs on Sporting Lisbon midfielder Stijn Schaars after the Dutchman's impressive season in Portugal.

The 28 year-old signed for Sporting Lisbon last year for a minimal fee of under £1 million and has impressed in his first season there. Jol has supposedly sent scouts to watch his compatriot, who will have noted another consistently solid display as Sporting took a 2-1 lead in the first leg of their Europa League semi final. He's also taken centre stage at international level with 16 caps for the Netherlands while also featuring in their 2010 World Cup squad.

Jol should know Schaars well from his time in the Netherlands but a potentially large fee could prove a stumbling block. If Sporting are to sanction a deal, it will be far higher than the speculated fee they paid for the former AZ Alkmaar midfielder.

Martin O'Neill is said to be on the look out for a midfielder too, making the prospect of bringing Schaars to the Cottage that little but more distant.

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