By Noel Whelan

3rd Oct, 2020 | 6:34pm

Pundit Exclusive: 'I know for a fact' Everton have beaten rivals to new signing

Noel Whelan has revealed that he “knows for a fact” that other clubs have been interested in Ben Godfrey as Everton near a deal for the Norwich City defender.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds forward delivered his verdict as Godfrey completed a medical with the Toffees.

Football Insider revealed early today (Saturday) that Godfrey is set to sign a five-year contract with Everton after completing a medical.

The Merseyside club will pay the Canaries an initial £25million that could rise to £30million with add-ons.

The Merseyside club currently have an injury crisis of sorts at centre-back with Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite currently injured.

Holgate, 23, has been missing all season with a toe injury he picked up in pre-season and is set to miss a further nine weeks.

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Asked by Football Insider whether Carlo Ancelotti has been forced into signing a defender, Whelan said: “I don’t think they have been forced I just think they’ve recognised a really good young player there who in the future who can be a really good asset and they’re getting him now with that potential.

“Carlo Ancelotti wouldn’t go out there and buy anybody. He’s very shrewd in what he does. He’s got to be 100 percent certain like the players he’s already brought in.

“He is now assembling a really good side.

“I know for a fact there have been other clubs interested in him but not taken that leap.

“Everton have wasted absolutely no time. I think that’s a great signing. It’s competition for places.

“He’s a young player, Holgate’s a young player so they’re assembling not just for now but for the future.”

In other Everton news, Carlo Ancelotti has been told to make a U-turn over a Toffees star being savaged by fans.