By Matt Farr
Everton are interested in signing Chamois Niortais wonderkid Junior Sambia this summer, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Toffees are set to compete alongside Championship outfit Birmingham City for the signature of the 20-year-old defensive-midfielder.
Sambia, who began his youth career with Ligue 1 giants Lyon, was a regular feature of the first-team squad for Chamois Niortais last season.
He made 41 appearances in all competitions last term, contributing four goals and three assists in all competitions, as his side finished 10th in Ligue 2.
His impressive displays over the course of the campaign have alerted a number of sides, with a number of clubs understood to have scouted the player.
But Everton could face fierce competition from Birmingham for his signature, after Blues director of football Jeff Vetere was revealed to be keen to bring him to England.
Sambia will be out of contract at the end of next season, after signing a first-team deal at the French club in the summer of 2014.
He made his professional debut in September that year at the tender age of just 18, becoming the youngest player ever to start a professional match for the club.
Football Insider verdict
Everton are on the hunt for some of Europe’s most promising talent to further complete Ronald Koeman’s transformation of the club. However, Birmingham will be the more likely of the two clubs to be able to offer him regular first-team football as early as next season, given their current Championship status. Sambia would find it very difficult to break into the current first-team setup at Goodison Park, given the presence of players like Idrissa Gueye, Gareth Barry and Morgan Schneiderlin in his position. But, he could well become a valuable future asset for the club, and if the Toffees are keen, then their interest is surely well-founded.
In other Everton transfer news, the club have reportedly joined the race to sign this 30-goal European hitman.