Everton are set to open talks with defender Mason Holgate over a new deal, Football Insider can reveal.
The 23-year-old defender is wanted by multiple Premier League clubs who admire his versatility and potential ahead of the January window.
An Everton source has told Football Insider that the club are aware of interest in Holgate and are keen to tie him down to a new and improved contract.
Director of football Marcel Brands is set to offer a major pay hike to fend off interest from Newcastle United, first revealed by Football Insider last week, as well as the likes of Bournemouth and Sheffield United.
Everton want to tie Holgate down as he is entering the final 18 months of his contract, which runs until the summer of 2022.
He has been a regular starter in recent months after previously struggling for game time at Everton.
Predominantly a centre-back, Holgate can also play at right-back and has even slotted into the central midfield alongside Tom Davies in the last two matches due to a series of senior player injuries in that position.
Everton value the former England Under-21 international, who signed from Barnsley in the summer of 2015, at £14million.
He spent the second half of last season on loan at West Brom, making 23 appearances as the Baggies reached the Championship play-off semi-finals.
Ex-manager Marco Silva put the plug on the young defender going out on loan again when his attempts to bring back Chelsea star Kurt Zouma for a second spell failed.
Holgate began the season on the bench as Silva chose Yerry Mina and Michael Keane as his first choice partnership in central defence, but he’s now started 10 matches in a row in all competitions.
In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED that Carlo Ancelotti has sought assurances over the futures of two players before agreeing to sign up as manager.