By Dominic Toner
Everton are interested in signing Derby midfielder Will Hughes, according to a report.
The Sun claim that the Toffees manager Ronald Koeman has identified the 21-year-old as a potential January transfer target.
It is understood that Koeman is keen to bolster his midfield options in January and that £15m-rated Hughes could improve his squad.
The report details that Hughes rejected a new Derby contract recently as he is not certain of his future and his current deal is set to expire in 2018.
Everton are currently under performing this season and Idrissa Gueye has been the only standout performer in midfield, with Ross Barkley, Gareth Barry and James McCarthy all being questioned by supporters.
Hughes could be a potential replacement in January and the central midfielder is in great form this season.
The youngster missed the majority of the 2015/16 campaign with a serious knee injury, but has been a regular starter for Derby this season.
He has made 23 appearances across all competitions and is extremely comfortable in possession.
The central midfielder has made 19 appearances for England’s Under-21s side and is expected to play in the top flight in the future.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton should consider securing Hughes’ signature in January as they need some more youth in midfield. Gareth Barry is very consistent in the central midfield position, but is not the long-term solution at 35. Hughes has been plying his trade in the Championship for years now and racked up a staggering 170 senior appearances for the Midlands club. The 21-year-old is surely destined to play in the Premier League and may now be ready to make the step up. The Merseyside club need to invest in some more young English talents and Hughes is a great proposition. Everton are hopeful of continuing their climb up the table to reach the European places and Hughes’ signing would improve their squad.
In other Everton transfer news, the club are set to rival a Premier League club for a 21-year-old defender.