Everton are reportedly planning to make a £10million swoop for Derby midfielder Will Hughes this summer.
The Sunday Mirror claims Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is a huge admirer of the England Under-21 midfielder and wants to play him alongside Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu as part of Everton’s creative three behind Romelu Lukaku.
Hughes has been out of action since the opening day of the Championship season with a cruciate ligament injury in his knee, and won’t be back in action for the promotion-chasing Rams until next month at the earliest.
This has postponed the Toffees interest until the next window, with the club initially showing interest last summer, but Hughes’ injury means Everton will shelve plans to sign him during the January transfer window, which closes on February 1.
Everton will allow Aiden McGeady to leave this month and are also facing a fight to keep Belgian forward Kevin Mirallas, which would free up the space to bring in Hughes.
The player has been linked to Liverpool in the past, but that was under Brendan Rodgers and it is thought the Reds have since identified alternative targets.