By Dominic Toner
Everton are interested in signing Bournemouth defender Steve Cook, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Toffees are eyeing a move for the 25-year-old in the summer as manager Ronald Koeman looks to bolster his defensive options.
It is understood that West Brom and West Ham have also been impressed by the performances of the Bournemouth centre-back this season.
The report details that Everton are considering Cook as a back-up option if they fail with their move for number one target Michael Keane from Burnley.
Cook has been one of the standout players for Bournemouth so far this season and played every minute of their Premier League campaign.
The Cherries look set to avoid relegation this season and have a seven-point cushion over the drop zone.
Cook has played a major role in the club’s success and the commanding centre-back is a leader in Eddie Howe’s side.
The English defender has been with Bournemouth since 2012 and played a key role in their rise to the top-flight, proving himself to be an established Premier League defender during the past two seasons.
Meanwhile, Burnley ace Keane has also been in fine form for his side and was rewarded with his first England senior caps by Gareth Southgate.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton certainly need some new centre-back additions in the summer to supplement the current options of Ashley Williams, Ramiro Funes Mori, Phil Jagielka, Mason Hoglate and Matthew Pennington. Koeman has identified 24-year-old Keane as his main target and the Burnley talisman would be a strong addition. He looked strong during his recent games for England is looks ready for the next step in his career. The Toffees have reportedly eyed Cook as an alternative option and the centre-back has also been in good form. He has proven himself to be strong in the top flight, but is just behind Keane in terms of all round ability. Everton want to push for the top four during the next few seasons and perhaps should be more ambitious with their targets.
In other Everton transfer news, they have joined the race for Ross Barkley’s replacement.