By Harry Sykes

Everton are on the verge of signing Newcastle’s highly-rated youngster Lewis Gibson, according to a reliable journalist.

Pete O’Rourke, who worked for Sky Sports and ESPN, and is a reliable source of transfer news in the north, shared the news via a tweet on his official Twitter page on Friday afternoon.

This comes after a report in May in the Liverpool Echo that said Everton were leading the race to sign Gibson.

The report said that the Toffees wanted the 16-year-old centre-back at their Academy as they look to strengthen their youth ranks as part of manager Ronald Koeman’s overhaul.

If the latest report is true, Everton have successfully beaten off competition from Celtic, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Southampton for Gibson’s signature.

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Gibson, who hasn’t made a senior appearance for Newcastle, but has featured in Premier League 2 twice, has made 16 appearances for England’s Under-17s, where he has scored two goals.

Koeman has shown that he is happy to give youth a chance in his senior Everton set-up, with 19-year-old Tom Davies enjoying a breakthrough season under the Dutch manager last season.

Davies made 24 Premier League appearances, scoring two goals and providing three assists, as well as winning plaudits for his mature performances.

In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees have been installed as favourites to sign this prolific international striker.

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