The Idependent is reporting that Everton has approached Burnley to discuss a possible acquisition of goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Manager, Roberto Martinez had previously states that he was comfortable with the situation in net and that they would not be seeking a replacement this summer. However the situation has changed as first choice stopper, Tim Howard's ex-wife and children have moved back to the United States.
Howard being a family man, announced that he was taking a year off from his U.S. National team duties after last summer's World Cup so that he could spend more time with his kids. Earlier in the year, there were several rumors that Howard could leave Merseyside and return to Major League Soccer in order to be closer to his family. There's also the presumed step down in competition which could allow the keeper who is 36 to prolong his career.
It's worth noting that Tim Howard is under contract with Everton until 2018 but his performance and prolonged absence due to a calf injury on Boxing Day may force Roberto Martinez's hand in speeding up his plans for Howard's successor. Currently Joel Robles is Howard's backup but he is far from being the heir apparent.
While Howard was out this season, Robles seemed to struggle at first before settling in and finishing his stint as the starter with three consecutive clean sheets. Still there are lingering doubts about the Spaniard's abilities to be an every match keeper in the Premier League. Those concerns could lead to a new keeper being brought in over the summer.
All this leads to Heaton being named as Everton's latest transfer target. The fact that Burnley have been recently relegated plays into the Toffee's favor as most players would understandably rather compete for a spot in a premiership lineup rather than in a championship side. Burnley already seem set to close another top choice in Kieran Trippier
Heaton, 29 has been with the Clarets for the past two seasons and started every match in the 2014-2015 season. He started his youth career with Manchester United in 2002 and was under the club's control until 2010. He has spent most of his career on loan with clubs in the Championship, League One and League Two with spells taking him to Cardiff City (twice), Queens Park Rangers, Bristol City, Swindon Town, Rochdale, Wycombe Wanderers and Royal Antwerp in Belgium.
Coincidentally, he was at United during the period where Tim Howard was wearing red, albeit Howard was with the first team while Heaton was with the youth squads and on loan.
As mentioned, Heaton was an ever-present during Burnley's recent season in the Premier League. He gave up 53 goals in front of a leaky defense but what was impressive was the he tallied ten clean sheets during the year.
With Tim Howard's future seemingly up in the air every few months, it may be a shrewd move to bring Heaton to Goodison if he could be brought in for a decent price. Most recently Transfermrkt had him listed at £1.8M.
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