By Dominic Toner
Everton are set to move for Burnley defender Michael Keane in the summer once a clause involving their director of football Steve Walsh expires, according to report.
The Daily Mirror claim that the Toffees and Leicester agreed a clause when Walsh completed a move to Goodison Park last summer, in which Everton couldn’t sign any Foxes transfer targets for 12 months.
It is understood that Walsh had eyed centre-back Keane during his time with Leicester, but his new side will be able to press ahead with a move in the upcoming window.
The report details that Everton are confident of securing the £25million-rated defender as they are the only club to register an interest so far.
Keane has been in sensational form for Premier League side Burnley this season and was rewarded with his first senior England caps by Gareth Southgate.
The 24-year-old has been one of the standout players at Turf Moor this campaign and has helped the Clarets avoid a relegation battle.
He has made 36 appearances across all competitions and played every minute of the Premier League season so far.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton will now be free to make a move to Keane, who failed to make the grade at Manchester United as a youngster. The 24-year-old has gone on to prove himself in the top flight with Burnley and has been one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League this season. He may cost a large £25million to sign due to his nationality, but it could turn out to be money well spent. Ronald Koeman needs to bring in some new young centre-backs to boost his squad to supplement the likes of Ashley Williams, Ramiro Funes Mori and Phil Jagielka. A move to Everton would be a good next step for Keane and the pair could be a perfect match.
In other Everton transfer news, they have secured a deal for a 22-year-old defender.