Everton knocked back a move from Tottenham to sign their demoted defender Michael Keane, Football Insider understands.

The centre-back, 27, lost his regular starting spot at the Merseysiders just before Christmas and has failed to win it back.

A Tottenham source has told Football Insider the club have been closely tracking Keane and sent scouts to watch him regularly last year.

Everton did not want to lose the England international and knocked back Spurs, whose move is believed to have come before Toby Alderweireld signed a new contract in late December.

Keane is midway through his third season at Goodison after joining from Burnley for around £25million in the summer of 2017.

He has been a mainstay of the team for most of his time at Everton but he delivered a series of wretched performances for club and country in the first half of this season.

Keane has been displaced in the starting XI by Mason Holgate, who is now Yerry Mina’s regular centre-back partner.

The Man United academy product has started just three of Everton’s last 10 Premier League matches and was an unused sub in last Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Arsenal.

Tottenham are set to be in the market for central defensive reinforcements this summer despite Alderweireld’s new deal.

His fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen is out of contract at the end of the season and likely to leave.

In other Tottenham news, it can be REVEALED that a midfielder may have played his last game for the club after a major new development.