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28th Jul, 2016 | 4:17pm

Player undergoes Thursday medical: Everton close in on Koeman's first major signing - report

By Amir Mir

Everton are on the verge of signing Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye, according to a report.

The Toffees triggered the Senegal internationals £7.2 million release clause on Tuesday and ESPN claimed on Thursday afternoon that Gueye is now undergoing a medical at the club.

It is said the 26-year-old has been given permission to travel down to Merseyside as he finalises his move from the Championship to the Premier League.

Despite his club’s relegation last term, the hard working midfielder was one of a few shining lights in a wretched Villa team.

A number of clubs in France have also expressed an interest in Gueye, but Everton have moved quickly to meet the midfielder’s release clause with new manager Ronald Koeman a big fan of the defensive midfielder.

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Only former Leicester City midfielder N’Golo Kante completed more interceptions than Gueye last season and Koeman has identified him as his first major signing after sealing the capture of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg on a free transfer from Fulham.

It is said Koeman made a swift move for the Villa player in order to fend off any interest from France as the Dutchman builds his squad for the forthcoming Premier League season.

Gueye who is affectionately known as ‘Gana’ by supporters made a £9 million switch from France last summer for then-manger Tim Sherwood, but after 35 appearances for the club he was unable to prevent their relegation as they conceded a miserable 76 goals.

In other Everton transfer news, Toffees set to miss out on striker target after £25 million fee is agreed.