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Everton in for Uruguay U23 defender?

Ronald Koeman continues to seek cover for his back line.

Brazil v Uruguay: Round of 16 - FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

As Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka continue to age, it only makes sense that Everton would seek additional reinforcements to their core of defenders. Ramiro Funes Mori is what you might call serviceable at best, and guys like Matthew Pennington or Mason Holgate are either too young or too positionally confused.

The hottest link out of the rumor oven is Las Palmas defender Mauricio Lemos. Still young, and once coveted by the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Lemos has played a big part in the La Liga side’s successful season so far.

Just 21, the Uruguayan has chipped in 4 goals in 17 appearances this season, making him a similar aerial threat to Funes Mori. Transfermarkt values Lemos at €7.5 million, which makes Las Palmas’ rumored asking price more than a little on the exorbitant side.

A more financially efficient target, perhaps, would be the recent link to Lazio’s Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij. Beyond the connection to his countryman Ronald Koeman, de Vrij is a significantly more accomplished and polished player. He would likely contribute more to the team in the short term, particularly if Everton qualify for any European competitions.

Regardless, expect the Blues to bring in a starting grade defender for next season, be it Burnley’s Michael Keane or some other well-regarded name around Europe.