By support

16th Jan, 2017 | 2:37pm

Everton to open talks with defender - report

By Dominic Toner

Everton are set to hold discussions with defender Phil Jagielka about his future, according to a report.

The Mail claim that the Toffees will soon open talks with the 34-year-old as his role has become uncertain under manager Ronald Koeman.

It is understood that Koeman is looking for another centre-back either in January or at the end of the season and is keen to bring down the age of the squad.

The report details that Premier League duo Sunderland and West Ham are interested in Jagielka and Everton will now discuss his future at the club.

Jagielka has been a popular player at Goodison Park since he arrived in 2007 from Sheffield United.

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The former England international has made 337 appearances for the Merseyside club and has been a mainstay in their defence.

He is the current Everton captain and has made 15 appearances this season, but has been left out of the club’s last two league games against Manchester City and Southampton.

The Toffees won both of those matches without conceding and Jagielka faces a tough battle to regain his place.

Football Insider verdict:

Everton should hang on to Jagielka at least until the end of the season as they are short of options at centre-back. Koeman has preferred a three-man defence recently, with Ashley Williams, Mason Holgate and Ramiro Funes Mori all impressing. He is going to need the experience of Jagielka during the remainder of the season and it’s important he has several options in defence if he continues with a three-man set-up. The 34-year-old has been a loyal servant to the club during his time with them and can still offer a lot to the side. However, Koeman is trying to build a strong side that can compete at the top-end of the table and Jagielka is not the long-term solution to their ambitions. They need to bring in some more young centre-back to buy into Koeman’s plans and the end of the season could be a good time for Jagielka to leave.

In other Everton transfer news, a Championship side want to sign the club’s 20-year-old defender.

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