Everton are believed to have made an approach for World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi, according to French media outlet Le Parisien.
It would be an audacious acquisition were the Toffees to have been able to take the France international to Goodison Park, although it is understood that his club Juventus have told Marco Silva the midfielder is not available.
Everton are gathering options on potential signings in the centre of the park, amid fears that Idrissa Gueye will leave Merseyside this summer.
They have already added Andre Gomes to their ranks, but should they lose the Senegal international, it would leave them light on quality in that area, particularly with James McCarthy’s time at the Toffees set to be coming to an end.
Matuidi has played at the very highest levels throughout his career, firstly with Paris Saint-Germain, where he won a number of titles, and latterly with Juventus, for whom he has been an excellent player for the Serie A giants as they have dominated Italian football.
His class and qualities have led him to 81 caps for his country, where he had the ultimate honour of winning the World Cup in Russia last summer.
The 32-year-old might be in the latter stages of his career, but his calm presence in the centre of the park, not to mention his reading of the game and comfort on the ball, would make him a huge signing for Everton should the midfielder become available.
Understandably, Juventus are not willing to sell such a class act, and it remains to be seen whether Matuidi would want to move to England even if they were, although he would have a familiar face alongside him had he completed the switch, with his international teammate Lucas Digne already at the Toffees.
The failure to get anywhere with the French midfielder leaves Silva having to look elsewhere for a replacement for Gueye, should the Senegalese star leave the club.