Everton are ready to set aside £10million-plus for a new centre-back in the January window, Football Insider has learned.
The Merseysiders spent big to reinforced their midfield and attack during the summer but were foiled in their attempts to recruit a central defender.
A Everton source has told Football Insider that Marco Silva and recruitment chief Marcel Brands recognise the team is short of a third senior centre-back to provide competition and cover for Yerry Mina and Michael Keane.
Everton did try and re-sign Kurt Zouma on loan but that was blocked by Chelsea, and talks to land his teammate Fikayo Tomori also collapsed late in the August window.
A deal was in place for the 21-year-old to spend the campaign at Goodison Park before the plug was pulled when David Luiz joined Arsenal in a hastily-arranged £8million deal.
It means Brands will concentrate in the coming months on identifying centre-backs who can be signed in the January window.
Everton are not averse to recruiting another centre-back on loan, and much depends upon their success in shipping out fringe players like Cenk Tosun.
The Merseysiders are likely to need to sell to buy as they look to provide Brands and Silva with more than £10million to bring in a new defender.
This comes after Football Insider revealed that the Turkey international snubbed a move to Qatari club Al Gharafa before the transfer window in the country shuts at the end of last month.
Mina and Keane have started all seven of Everton’s Premier League matches this season in what has been a settled defence in front of Jordan Pickford.
But Silva’s team have shipped 12 goals and are 15th in the table ahead of Saturday’s trip to Burnley.
In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a move to sign “the next Jamie Vardy”.