Everton winning race for £28m Chelsea target

Daniel Roberts

Everton are confident of pipping Chelsea to the signing of a £28million-rated Premier League defender in the summer. 

Interest has grown in Burnley’s Michael Keane this season, with the centre-back in highly impressive form for the Clarets, who currently sit 11th in the Premier League.

Chelsea have been linked with a move for the defender, but the Toffees are now in pole position to secure his signature, according to The Sun.

Everton boss Ronald Koeman is in the market for a new defender when the transfer window reopens, with only out-of-favour Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams and Ramiro Funes Mori at his disposal.

Koeman had targeted Virgil van Dijk to shore up his defence next season, however, the report claims that they expect the Holland international to secure a move elsewhere.

Keane has now become the top transfer target for Everton, who are willing and able to finance the £28million deal thanks to their big-money backer.

They will face competition from Chelsea, however, with Antonio Conte keen to add to his defensive options.

The Italian is keen to strengthen in his back line to continue playing his favoured back-three system.

Keane was reportedly one of Conte’s top targets in January, but failure to sign him saw the club recall Nathan Ake from his loan at Bournemouth. It is expected that the London side will rekindle their interest and make a move for the former Manchester United defender in the summer.