By Dominic Toner
Everton are considering a move for Leicester midfielder Demarai Gray, according to a report.
The Mirror claim that the Toffees are searching for a winger to replace the injured Yannick Bolasie, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after seriously damaging his knee.
The report details that Everton manager Ronald Koeman is a long-term admirer of 20-year-old Gray and monitored him when he was the Southampton boss.
It is understood that Everton were plotting a transfer raid next summer, but may now step up their pursuit for the January window.
Gray has been restricted to a bit-part role this season in a struggling Leicester side and made 15 senior appearances across all competitions, completing 90 minutes on just two occasions.
The youngster is yet to have a regular stay in the first team, but has shown glimpses of quality in his cameo appearances.
The winger has made five appearances for the England Under-21s and is regarded as one of the nations’s emerging talents.
Everton are keen to fill the Bolasie void and Gray offers a similar style with his pace and trickery.
Koeman currently has the likes of Gerard Deulofeu, Kevin Mirallas, Aaron Lennon and Enner Valencia who can fill the wide positions, but they will certainly miss the creativity of Bolasie.
Football Insider verdict:
Demarai Gray seems like a brilliant fit to replace Yannick Bolasie on Everton’s left hand side. The winger has not been give a fair chance by Claudio Ranieri this campaign and a move to Goodison Park could also suit him. Gray did win the Premier League last season and also starred for Birmingham in the Championship, but Everton fans may point to his lack of experience as a concern. Gray has a lot of potential to become an elite player and the Toffees could certainly do with some extra fire-power to their attack. The winger is by no means the finished article yet, but would still add some extra quality and flair to the team.
In other Everton transfer news, they are set to rival Chelsea for a £35million-rated Premier League defender.