Talks underway: Everton close in on shock managerial appointment as he heads to Merseyside - report

By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Ronald Koeman is in line to become Everton’s next manager after travelling with his agent to Merseyside, according to a report.

Dutch journalist Tim de Wit claimed on his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon that the Southampton boss is ready to pen a surprise deal with the Toffees.

This comes less than a week after St Mary’s technical director Les Reed spoke of his confidence that Koeman would commit to a new Southampton contract.

De Wit revealed that Koeman and his agent Rob Jansen are heading for talks with Goodison officials.

Koeman has been tipped to succeed Roberto Martinez, who was sacked by Everton at the end of the season, after another strong campaign in the Premier League with Southampton.

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The Dutchman has guided the Saints to back-to-back record breaking points totals in the Premier League and this season secured Europa League football.

But the chances of the 53-year-old moving north had appeared highly unlikely after Reed revealed discussions about a new Southampton contract are advanced.

“We’re now at a point, as Ronald has said himself, where we’re actually getting down to the details of the contract, which is where agents and lawyers get involved,” Reed said last week. “Everything is going very positively at the moment.”

The likes of Manuel Pellegrini, Frank de Boer and ex-Goodison boss David Moyes have also been closely linked with the vacant Goodison post.

Martinez enjoyed a strong first season in charge of the Toffee’s in which he finished 5th with 72 points – the most achieved by an Everton side since they last won the league title in 1986-87.

Since then though Everton have struggled finishing 11th last year before finishing in the same position again this season.

A banner displaying the message ‘Time to go Roberto’ was flown over Goodison Park in late April and seemed to condemn the man who promised to bring Champions League football to Merseyside.

In other news, Everton plot sensational bid for Manchester City star.