By Russell Edge

11th May, 2018 | 8:08am

Report: Everton ready big-money swoop for 24-y/o top flight powerhouse hunted by London rivals

Everton are readying a big-money swoop to poach Newcastle United defender Jamaal Lascelles with Tottenham and Chelsea also hunting the 24-year-old, according to a report.

The Mirror claim on their website that the Toffees are willing to splash out £25million for the Magpies’ centre back and captain this summer as they look to bolster their options at the heart of their defence.

It is said that London rivals Spurs and Chelsea have also been in pursuit of the 6’2″ star, who has made 34 appearances and scored three goals for Newcastle this season, playing a key role in their survival from relegation.

Football Insider verdict

Everton have obviously identified their centre back options as a weakness and considering the likes of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams are not getting any younger, that seems a wise decision. Michael Keane has not hit the ground running as expected after joining from Burnley last summer and there will be hopes that he can improve, but a new partner might help him along the way. Is Lascelles the man to do so? He has been impressive for Newcastle as one of their stand out performers and considering his maturity and leadership abilities at 24, makes him a valuable piece of property. Rafael Benitez would be loathed to lose a man he has watched flourish and grow under his tutelage, and with a contract signed until 2023, the £25million price tag might have to increase if Everton are to prise him from Newcastle’s grasp. Will Everton be willing to splash that sort of money for a mid-table defender? Only time will tell.

In other Everton transfer news, the club have lined up a double swoop with one man heading out the exit door.

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