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Everton rival Watford for Sporting Gijon star Bernardo Espinosa

The central defender has been impressive and is available on a free in the summer.

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Everton are set to rival Watford for Sporting Gijon defender Bernardo Espinosa, according to TalkSport.

The defender's contract is set to expire in the summer, and reports claim he will turn down any new offers and move on a free at that time.

Both clubs have expressed a strong interest in securing the central defender at that point should be available.

They are likely to face stern competition for his signature though, with a number of clubs from across Europe monitoring his situation.

Sides from Spain, Germany and Italy are all equally as keen on a deal as the Premier League duo, although he has set his heart on a move to England and would be able to agree a deal in January.

While Evertonians would be keen to see their side strengthen, they would argue that another central defender is not among their priorities.

The Blues have John Stones and Phil Jagielka as the first choice central defensive pairing, while Ramiro Funes Mori has also done well when called upon this season.

With the likes of Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning also seeing their future at centre back as well, it is arguably a position Roberto Martinez has plenty of options in going forward and not in need of strengthening.