By Harvey Byrne
Everton want to keep left-back Bryan Oviedo at the club despite interest from elsewhere, according to a report.
The Liverpool Echo has claimed that the Toffees will continue to knock back back offers made to take the 26-year-old as they look to keep him as back-up to Leighton Baines.
It is believed that Premier League rivals Sunderland have made an approach for the Costa Rica international with former manager David Moyes in charge of the Black Cats.
However, the north east side will have to look elsewhere with Ronald Koeman keen to keep hold of Oviedo.
The full-back moved to Everton in the summer of 2012, but he has never been a consistent member of the Toffees team during his five years at the club.
The international defender has been restricted to just seven appearances in all competitions under Koeman this campaign with his last appearance coming in a 5-0 defeat against Chelsea at the beginning of November.
The Merseyside club are currently blessed in the left-back position with Baines and Oviedo, while young out on loan duo Brendan Galloway and Luke Garbutt are also bright prospects.
Football Insider verdict:
Oviedo isn’t getting a lot of game time at Everton, but Koeman can’t leave his team in danger of not being able to field a senior full back if Baines suffers an injury. Now, Oviedo is certainly far from the best back-up in the world, but there aren’t lot of players out there who will be willing to sit on the bench for five years and play back-up to Baines. There will come a day when the Englishman becomes the back-up at the club and that should be the day the club decides to allow Oviedo to leave. But, for now it is worth keeping the international player around at the club as they seek a European return next season.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees are eyeing this European goal machine.