By Matt Farr
Everton are hoping to make significant progress in their bid to sign Burnley defender Michael Keane over the next seven days, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claimed in their live transfer blog on Monday (14:46pm) that Toffees chief Ronald Koeman has yet to make a breakthrough in talks with Burnley.
Koeman has made the 24-year-old defender is next priority target this summer, having already splashed out a combined £53.6million on Jordan Pickford and Davy Klaassen earlier this month.
However, the Dutchman’s summer overhaul of the first-team squad is likely to continue, and a £25million deal for Keane as their third new addition could take their spending close to the £80million mark.
The report also states that Koeman has retained his interest in signing Las Palmas defender Mauricio Lemos, who is set to command a similar fee of around £26million, should the club miss out on Keane.
The England international defender has continued to impress for Burnley, making 39 appearances in all competitions last season as the Clarets retained their Premier League status.
But with Keane out of contract at the end of next season, Burnley may prefer to strike a deal this summer to raise considerable profit on the player, rather than losing him on a free if he declines a new contract in a year’s time.
A report by the Daily Mail on Sunday read that Keane is also hopeful a deal can be completed within the next week, and is likely to choose a move to Everton as regular first-team football is not guaranteed elsewhere.
Football Insider verdict
Given the transfer window has not yet officially opened, there is no rush to complete a deal. But Everton still need to get this deal over the line at the earliest opportunity. So long as he remains a Burnley player, interest will remain high in his services, and Everton must make sure they win the race. He will be a fantastic signing for the club, and a huge boost to their defence, which struggled with injuries and consistency under Koeman last season. The age of their current defensive options could also be a concern, with Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams both over the age of 30.
In other Everton transfer news, Martin Keown believes Everton would be a fantastic destination for this Arsenal player.