By Alex Stevens

Everton are willing to pay Morgan Schneiderlin £40,000-a-week more than Romelu Lukaku to secure his signature in January, according to a report.

The Telegraph claim the Merseysiders are “moving closer” to signing Schneiderlin, 27, from Manchester United in the January transfer window.

It is said that Everton are willing to meet the player’s £120,000-a-week wage demands in addition to paying a transfer fee that could eventually rise to the £24million that United paid for the midfielder in the summer of 2015.

Intriguingly, the deal newly-rich Everton are ready to pay Schneiderlin a salary that would catapult him to the top of the club’s highest earners.

The Daily Star claim that the best paid player is currently star striker Romelu Lukaku, who is on £80,000-a-week.

The package being offered to lure Schneiderlin from Old Trafford would blow that out of the water and further demonstrate the ambition from Everton to join the Premier League elite.

Schneiderlin has yet to start a Premier League match this season after falling down the central midfield pecking order behind Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and even Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Football Insider verdict:

10 out of 10 for ambition. But Everton are creating multiple issues down the line if they are to pay a solid, but far from brilliant, Premier League midfielder £120,000-a-week. Schneiderlin won’t be the first, or the last, player to wonder why Mourinho won’t play him and is so keen to usher him out of the exit door. But it is highly questionable to pay him a mega salary to a player that dwarfs those of his new teammates, many of who can rightfully claim they are better performers. Koeman can expect to have a host of big names beating a path to his door and demanding pay rises.

In other Everton transfer news, Tony Cascarino has urged Koeman to consider a much improved Premier League striker as a replacement for Lukaku.