Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Everton are stepping up their interest in signing Stoke City’s giant defender Harry Souttar ahead of the January transfer window.

That’s according to The Sun, who claim that Everton watched Souttar in action once again last week.

Duncan Ferguson previously went to watch Souttar in action for Stoke against Preston North End last month.

Everton aren’t alone in the race for Souttar, with Brighton and Hove Albion also keen. Tottenham Hotspur are also thought to be interested.

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This latest scouting mission again suggests that Everton will be preparing a move to sign Souttar in January, but maybe a summer move is more likely.

Everton need defensive help amid Souttar rumours

Ben Godfrey has huge potential but just hasn’t been himself this season. Michael Keane looked dismal against Watford on Saturday and Yerry Mina allegedly fancies leaving next summer.

All that means that Rafael Benitez and Marcel Brands have to find another centre back for the future.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Souttar, 23, ticks some boxes for Everton.

Souttar is an enormous 6ft 6in centre back with outstanding aerial ability, and he now has more than 50 Championship appearances to his name.

An Australian international with a ridiculous six goals in eight caps, Souttar is also a threat going forward.

Stoke won’t want to sell in the middle of the season, but it looks like Everton are ramping up their interest ahead of a bid in 2022.

Photo by Mohamed Farag/Getty Images

In other news, Report: Benitez willing to sell 'amazing' £100k-a-week Everton ace, Conte wants him at Tottenham