Everton may regret letting Villarreal bargain Mateo Musacchio slip through their net

Everton manager Ronald Koeman

Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio is reportedly close to signing for AC Milan - dealing a blow to Everton in the process.

Mateo Musacchio v Barcelona

One of the longest transfer sagas in recent years could be coming to an end. Villarreal centre-back Mateo Musacchio has been linked with the Premier League incessantly in recent seasons but, at long last, he appears close to securing a move away from the Castellon Coast.

Though his destination will not be England. As reported by Football Espana, Musacchio is set to sign for Italian giants AC Milan agreeing a bargain £12.7 million fee, making him the watershed signing of the club's new era under Chinese ownership.

The price tag, meanwhile, suggests they've pulled off quite the coup. After all, The Telegraph reported that Tottenham Hotspur bid as much as £17 million back in the summer of 2014.

However, it appeared until recently that Everton was the Argentine's most likely destination. Calciomercato reported that The Toffees were keen on the 26-year-old as manager Ronald Koeman aims to improve on the ageing Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams, not to mention the erratic Ramiro Funes-Mori.

Everton's Ramiro Funes Mori looks dejected

And Musacchio, renowned for his superb positional sense, could have been an ideal addition. He's proven at the top level of European football having helped Villarreal to the semi-finals of the Europa League last season and there are few better all-round defenders in the Spanish top flight.

In fact, the only surprise is that Villarreal managed to hang onto him for as long as they did.

Furthermore, with Burnley demanding £25 million for Michael Keane according to the Daily Mirror, the six-time international would have been a relative snip at half the price.

Liverpool's Robert Firmino in action with Villarreal's Mateo Musacchio

Yet, if appears that Everton will be forced to do their shopping elsewhere this summer.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch