By Dominic Toner
Everton are interested in signing goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Toffees have identified the Sunderland shot stopper as their long-term number one.
The report details that Everton are leading the chase for the 22-year-old ahead of Manchester United, who have also been monitoring the youngster.
Pickford was recently called up England’s senior squad against Slovenia and has enjoyed a phenomenal rise in recent months.
Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone picked up a serious elbow injury in the early stages of the season in a training session.
Pickford was given his chance as a result and he has played all nine games for the Black Cats since.
The youngster has been performing in a struggling Sunderland team and appears to have stake his claim as the club’s number one goalkeeper.
He is an academy graduate at Sunderland a string of loan spells helped him develop, playing for teams such as Burton, Carlise, Bradford and Preston.
Sunderland are currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier League and Pickford could be offered the chance to join a more successful team.
Everton appear to be in need of a long-term option in goal, with current number one Maarten Stekelenburg 34.
Ronald Koeman also has back-up option Joel Robles, but is believed to want a new number one goalkeeper.
In other Everton transfer news, contract negotiations are set to begin with a 27-year-old after Steve Walsh sanctioned scouting mission.