Fulham are continuing discussions with São Paulo over midfielder Pablo Maia, according to the Brazilian press, and the Premier League club are unperturbed by the fact that their first offer was rejected.

The Tricolour turned down Fulham’s first bid, believed to be around £6.5m, but the parties have reopened negotiations in the hope of arriving at a deal. Brazilian sports daily Lance! reports that the Whites have submitted another offer – and São Paulo’s major sticking point, aside from hoping for a fee that could eventually reach £8.6m, is that they would like to have the 20 year-old available for the remainder of the qualification phase of the Copa Libertadores. That could mean that Fulham may conclude a deal for the youngster, but allow him to remain with O Clube da Fé until pre-season training gets underway at Motspur Park in July.

Maia has become a mainstay in Rogério Ceni’s first team since starring in the summer’s Sao Paulo Cup. The Brasopolis-born tenacious tackler has seamlessly slotted into the senior side after Gabriel Neves got injured, making 28 Serie A appearances. He has featured in a variety of positions for São Paulo, including centre back, holding midfield and as a number ten, being praised for his versatility and maturity.

European clubs have tracked Maia’s progress since he broke into the São Paulo senior side this summer and Nottingham Forest have been credited with an interest in signing him. But Fulham’s successful recruitment of Willian and Andreas Pereira, as well as Marco Silva’s summer-long courtship of Rodrigo Muniz last year, is understood to count in their favour. The midfielder is believed to be intrigued by the prospect of playing in the Premier League.

Lance! also suggests that the Londoners hold an interest in three other São Paulo stars, namely central back Luizão, midfielder Rodrigo Nestor and number ten Igor Gomes