Football: Muller takes step nearer to Everton debut: Everton woo Brazilian

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MULLER, the Brazilian World Cup striker, could make his Everton debut in next weekend's match against Queen's Park Rangers following an apparently unsuccessful last-ditch attempt by the Sao Paulo president to persuade him to stay.

Everton have already applied for a work permit. 'It is out of our hands. All we can do now is wait,' Mike Walker, the manager, said.

Paul Stewart, on loan to Wolves, is hoping his chances of a permanent move to the First Division club are not ruined after spraining ankle ligaments in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Tranmere.

Gary Bull, the Nottingham Forest striker, has joined Birmingham City on a month's loan and is included in the squad for tonight's game at Rotherham.

Elsewhere the biggest week in the history of European club football gets underway with Milan, the European Cup holders, in serious trouble. Because of injury and suspension they are without 10 members of their first team squad for tomorrow's Group D match against Ajax in Amsterdam.

Absenteeism hits them in all departments and among those they will be without are French defender Marcel Desailly, central defender Alessandro Costacurta, midfielders Stefano Eranio and Demetrio Albertini, and strikers Daniele Massaro and Marco Simone.

Barcelona, runners-up to Milan in last year's final, will also be considerably below strength for their match against the Turkish side Galatasaray.