By Wayne Veysey

17th Jul, 2016 | 7:42pm

Everton in pole position to sign 24-goal striker after opening talks - report

By Tom Blackburn

Everton are in pole position to sign FC Twente striker Sebastian Haller, according to a report.

The Toffees opened talks with the France Under-21 international last week as they bid to strengthen their squad ahead of the 2016-17 Premier League season.

French website France Football claims that Merseyside giants are in the driving seat to win the forward’s signature as they are financially stronger than the other suitors.

Football Insider reported on Saturday that Aston Villa are also interested in signing Haller, who could be a replacement for Jordan Ayew.

Haller scored 24 goals and provided six assists in 42 games in all competitions last season in the Eredivisie for F.C Utrecht.

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In addition to Everton and Villa there are other Premier League clubs including Norwich, Tottenham, Swansea and Sunderland keeping tabs on him.

Everton’s move for the Frenchman could be dependant on whether they can hold on to Romelu Lukaku, who is attracting interest from big clubs including Chelsea, PSG and Bayern Munich.

On Sunday morning they were linked with a potential move for Wilfried Bony, who could join from Manchester City as part of a swap deal with centre-back John Stones.

In other Everton transfer news, they are lining up a swoop for the best keeper in Europe at a bargain price.