By Derek Smithson
Stuart Pearce has claimed he will be “astounded” if Everton sign defender Michael Keane from Burnley.
The Sun report that the Toffees are set to complete a deal for the 24-year-old in the next few days.
It is understood they will match the £25million price of Premier League rivals Burnley and bring the England international to Goodison Park.
Ronald Koeman’s side are believed to be at an advanced stage of the deal and he could be the third arrival at the Merseyside club of the summer.
They have already splashed out £30million on goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Sunderland and £23.6million for attacking midfielder Davy Klaassen from Ajax.
Pearce has explained that he is shocked about the reported imminent arrival of Keane and has questioned why one of the top-six clubs in England have not secured a deal for him.
“I’ve got to say, if Everton get there before any of the top four, five or six, I’d be astounded,” Pearce told talkSPORT. “I saw him at the back end of last season and he has grown so much as a player.
“If I was one of the bigger sides, I’d get him and sign him before Everton. I think if Everton get there before them they have signed a very good player, and he maybe will move on for even bigger money in the future.”
Keane enjoyed a superb year in the Premier League last season and helped Burnley finish six points above the relegation places in 16th.
The centre-back has become a crucial player at Turf Moor for the Clarets and his displays last season helped him force his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
He has now made two senior international caps under his belt and is being tipped for a big-money move in the summer.
The former Manchester United defender failed to cut it at Old Trafford at a youngster, but Everton are now prepared to splash out £25million for him following his huge development.
In other Everton transfer news, a highly-rated forward has revealed on Instagram that he is joining the Merseyside club.