Everton are reported to targeting Real Madrid for defender Diego Llorente, according to Spanish newspaper Diario Sur.

The versatile Spaniard has reportedly impressed Ronald Koeman with his displays this season while on loan at La Liga side Malaga.

Everton are ready to overhaul their squad this summer and new players at the back remains a priority for the Premier League side.

While the Toffees have been linked heavily with Burnley’s Michael Keane, Llorente could be an impressive alternative.

The 23-year-old is an accomplished and technical ball player and he is adept at centre-back, right-back, or in holding midfield.

Llorente has been at Madrid since the age of eight, but like many Los Blancos youngsters has found the route to the first team difficult.

The Spain international has made just two appearances for Zinedine Zidane’s men, and with stars such as Raphael Varane, Pepe, Sergio Ramos and Nacho Fernandez well established at the Santiago Bernebau, he is unlikely to force his way into the first team any time soon.

Llorente has previously enjoyed successful spells at Real’s B and C teams, and also excelled in a loan spell at Rayo Vallecano.

At 23, Real Madrid are likely to now consider selling the defender, rather than look to loan him out once more.

Llorente has a reported asking price of €15million (£13million).

Everton are believed to view the defender as a potential long term partner for Ashley Williams, as Llorente is seen as having the potential to better adapt to the passing style of play implanted by boss Koeman than current centre-backs Phil Jagielka and Ramiro Funes Mori.

However if the Toffees are to bring the prodigious talent to Goodison Park they may need to get a move on, with plenty of other European teams surely intersted in Llorente is available.


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