By support

4th Dec, 2016 | 2:04pm

Everton join race for £15m-rated defender - report

By Dominic Toner

Everton are lining up a move for Burnley defender Michael Keane, according to a report.

The Mirror claim that the Toffees have joined the race for the centre-back, who is also a target for Leicester and Chelsea.

The report details that Keane was a £15million target for Leicester in the summer transfer window and they remain interested in his signature.

Everton currently have Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka as their first-choice centre-backs, meaning they could look to add some youth to their squad.

Jagieka, 34, is reaching the latter stages of his career and 32-year-old Williams moved to Goodison Park in the summer with tons of experience.

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Keane has emerged as key player for Burnley this season and played every minute of their Premier League campaign.

The 23-year-old has produced a number of good performances at centre-back and recently earned his first call-up to England’s senior squad, but is still awaiting his first cap.

He has emerged as one of England’s best young defenders and is expected to be a mainstay in the national team.

Keane graduate through Manchester United’s academy and secured a permanent move to Turf Moor in 2015 to seek regular football.

The defender is now crucial to Sean Dyche’s team and will be hoping to avoid relegation this season.

Football Insider verdict:

Everton should make Michael Keane a top priority in the January transfer window. The Toffees have an ageing defence and have not filled the void left by John Stones’ departure for Manchester City in the summer. Keane is developing into a very good defender at Burnley and Everton could offer him the chance to improve even further. Ronald Koeman’s side are crying out for some young defenders and Keane is one of the best English options around. Everton are hopeful of bringing European football back to Goodison Park in the near future and Keane would be a great option to lead that. The defender would benefit from the experience in the Everton dressing room and is only going to keep improving at 23.

In other Everton transfer news, they are eyeing a Holland international to replace their struggling pair.