By Wayne Veysey

5th May, 2017 | 8:59am

Report: Everton to make formal approach for PL sensation, Koeman confident of sealing near-£20m deal

By Harry Sykes

Everton are confident of winning the race for the signature of in-demand Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, according to a report.

The Northern Echo claim the cash-rich Merseysiders are in pole position to take advantage of Sunderland’s relegation by signing the 23-year-old.

It is said that Everton manager Ronald Koeman wants a new No1 this summer and has identified Pickford as his first-choice option.

The Northern Echo report that the Toffees will make a formal approach for the Sunderland academy product when the Premier League season ends in 16 days.

The Black Cats value Pickford at £20million but their negotiating position has been weakened by ejection from the top flight and Everton are confident of securing a deal at £17million.

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Sunderland are resigned to losing the Englishman, who has also attracted strong interest from Liverpool and Manchester City.

Premier League sensation Pickford has emerged as the outstanding young goalkeeper in English football during a campaign in which he has been promoted to the England senior squad and has emerged as a strong candidate for the 2018 World Cup squad.

Everton have two senior goalkeepers on their payroll, Maarten Stekelenburg, who followed Koeman from Southampton last summer, and Joel Robles.

But Stekelenburg was dropped following a number of error-strewn performances in the opening half of the campaign, and Robles has not convinced since being given his chance.

In other Everton transfer news, the club have agreed to sign up a centre-forward who is loved by Ronald Koeman.

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