Youngster Lewis Gibson had been tipped with a move to Everton recently, and the Blues have taken a big step towards sealing the deal by having their bid accepted by parent club Newcastle United. The Echo are reporting that the Toffees are prepared to pay up over £6m including add-ons for the young center half.
Gibson is widely considered to be one of the biggest talents in English youth football. The central defender turned seventeen today and is well-established in the England Under-17 squad.
Everton were first linked with the player soon after the end of the last season, the teenager had been attracting plenty of attention with Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Celtic are all reportedly in the running for the defender too. The left-sided defender still has one year left on his current contract. As a schoolboy he can walk away from the Toon next season, hence their interest in selling the youngster.
This latest signing will bring to six the number of additions that David Unsworth will have to work with at the Under-23 level this season. Defender Nathangelo Markelo, striker Boris Mathis, winger Josh Bowler have all been signed this summer with forward Anton Donkor coming back on another loan spell. There is also the yet-unconfirmed gazumping of Arsenal for Dutch sensation Joshua Zirkzee that also happened earlier today.
Everton's renewed commitment to the youth squad under Farhad Moshiri's ownership has been paying off already, with David Unsworth's Under-23 squad winning the Premier League 2 title this just-ended season.
Gibson was born in the Newcastle area and he joined his brother Liam in the Newcastle youth setup. The younger sibling is yet to make an appearance for the senior side, featuring in 12 games for the Under-18 side and twice for the Under-23 team. He also has sixteen England Under-17 caps, scoring twice in the process.
A left-footed defender, he featured in this summer's European Under-17 Championship where England lost on penalties to Spain in the final. At Everton he will be competing for a spot with Callum Connolly and Markelo after Tyias Browning was sent to Sunderland on loan for the season.