Report: Everton in pole position to sign Michael Keane in 2017, he wants move next summer

Everton manager Ronald Koeman

Everton are reportedly leading the race to sign Burnley centre back Michael Keane.

According to the Daily Mail, Everton are in pole position to snap up Burnley defender Michael Keane at the end of the season.

The Toffees landed a new centre back over the summer by prising Ashley Williams away from Swansea City, but manager Ronald Koeman has problems in his back line.

Williams has been solid enough but is now 32, whilst Ramiro Funes Mori has failed to prove himself as a top Premier League defender, and Phil Jagielka is now 34.

Everton manager Ronald KoemanEverton manager Ronald Koeman

Whilst Mason Holgate has shown potential, a long-term centre back should be on Koeman's transfer wish list – and it seems that they want to bring in an English defender.

The Daily Mail report that Everton are now leading the race to sign Burnley centre back Michael Keane, who has starred for the Clarets since leaving Manchester United in 2014.

Keane, 23, initially joined Burnley on loan from United in the summer of 2014, but made that move permanent in January 2015, and his performances under Sean Dyche have made him one of English football's top young defenders.

Burnley's Michael KeaneBurnley's Michael Keane

The defender, who was recently named in Gareth Southgate's England squad having impressed for Burnley so far this season, and has allegedly snubbed a new contract, as he wants to try and force a move away from Turf Moor next summer.

It's stated that, whilst Chelsea and former club Manchester United are interested in Keane, Everton are seen as a 'progressive club' under former defensive star Koeman, whilst a move to Goodison Park would also allow Keane to stay in the North West.

Add in that, as reported by BBC Sport, Leicester City – whose recruitment was being driven by Everton's new director of football Steve Walsh – had a £10million bid rejected for Keane, and all the signs point to Everton making a move.

With Keane having just 18 months left on his contract, Burnley look set to lose Keane in the near future, and Everton will allegedly hope to snap him up at the end of the season, whether the Clarets stay in the Premier League or not.

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