By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Everton have been installed as strong favourites to sign Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.
The Ivory Coast international had his odds slashed to 8/15 by betting company Sky Bet on Thursday morning to make a move to Goodison Park.
Arsenal are distant second favourites to sign Bony at 11/2, ahead of the player’s former club Swansea, who are 11/1 to land him in this summer’s window.
The change in odds come after Dutch publication Voetbal International claimed the Merseysiders are close to agreeing a £25.6million deal for the Ivory Coast striker.
It is said that Everton are confident that Bony will become their latest summer signing as manager Ronald Koeman steps up his overhaul of the squad.
Ashley Williams was unveiled on Wednesday in a £12million transfer from Swansea to become Koeman’s third senior arrival after the captures of Idrissa Gueye and Martin Stekelenburg.
Everton have also agreed a deal worth up to £30million with Crystal Palace for winger Yannick Bolasie and are locked in negotiations with Sunderland to sign centre-back Lamine Kone for £18million.
Voetbal claim that Bony was discussed by Everton and City during the extensive transfer talks that culminated in John Stones moving to Etihad Stadium for £47.5million on Tuesday morning.
Bony only joined City for £28m from Swansea in January 2015 but has notched just six Premier League goals in that time and found it difficult to make the starting line-up, where his path has been blocked by Sergio Aguero.
Nevertheless, the 27-year-old Ivory Coast international has Premier League pedigree, scoring 32 goals and supplying 10 assists in 90 matches in the competition.
In other Everton transfer news, this young defender may follow Stones out of the exit door amid strong Newcastle interest.