Everton have stepped up their interest in Hull City defender Harry Maguire ahead of a summer swoop, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Toffees boss Ronald Koeman has successfully counteracted the defensive frailties at Goodison Park this campaign that were evident under former boss Roberto Martinez.
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But the 54-year-old is keen to further bolster his side’s options in order to challenge for European football next season.
The 24-year-old centre-back has stood out in a struggling Tigers team this term, with impressive displays during the relegation candidates’ stalemate with Manchester United and a spirited performance down to 10-men against the Blues.
Everton captain Phil Jagielka has struggled for consistency in the starting XI under the Dutch manager, with speculation rising that this could be the veteran’s last year on Merseyside.
Fellow defender Ramiro Funes Mori has also lacked momentum this season, and with the 26-year-old potentially ruled out for the remainder of this campaign after picking up a knee injury on international duty, his future is uncertain.
The seventh-placed Premier League side will likely face competition for Maguire, with several other clubs reportedly interested in securing the signature of the sought-after Englishman.