Everton fear Tottenham are moving into pole position to sign Andre Gomes from Barcelona this summer, Football Insider understands.
The Merseysiders are keen to land the central midfielder, 25, on a permanent deal after his impressive campaign on loan at Goodison Park.
An Everton source told Football Insider the club are well aware of stiff competition for the signature of Gomes as Barcelona prepare to offload him in the forthcoming window.
Director of football Marcel Brands is said to fear the strong interest from Tottenham and that they could blow Everton out of the water with an offer the player would find too good to refuse.
Spurs are in the market for a proven performer who can fill the hole in their midfield that was left by the January exit of Mousa Dembele.
Barcelona inserted an £86million release clause into Gomes’ contract when he joined from Valencia in 2016 for a fee of around £30million.
The source said the Champions League semi-finalists are willing to sell the player at less than half his buyout clause, just as they did with the departure of his teammate Yerry Mina to Everton last summer.
Gomes has been a mainstay of Marco Silva’s side this season, providing class and composure in the middle of the pitch in his 28 appearances, which have included 24 league starts.
In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED the club are to dump big-money signing after Silva makes up his mind.