By Richard Parks
Everton want to sign Saint-Etienne centre-back Leo Lacroix in the summer to help tighten up their backline, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Toffees are eyeing a move for the 6ft 5in defender, who joined Basel on loan during the January transfer window.
It is said that Everton watched the centre-back, 26, help the Swiss side secure a shock 2-1 Champions League win at Manchester City last week in the second leg of the last-16 tie.
The Sun report that Basel are believe to have an option to buy Lacroix at the end of his loan, but Everton and Premier League rivals Brighton have shown an interest and can land him for a fee of £7.5million.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton will certainly be in the market to sign some defensive reinforcements in the summer following some wretched performances this season by Ashley Williams and £30million 2017 capture Michael Keane. The pair have struggled to deal with the Premier League’s best attackers and look below the standard needed for a top-eight side. Lacroix certainly impressed for Basel last week and had the brilliant Leroy Sane and quicksilver Bernado Silva in his back point as, for once, Man City failed to destroy an opposing defence. However, Everton really do need to do their background checks on Lacroix. He struggled to get in the Saint-Etienne team for the opening half of the campaign. If he is that good, why was he loaned out by the Ligue 1 outfit?