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Everton face Arsenal competition for central defender

Young Scotsman is garnering Premier League interest

Netherlands v Scotland - UEFA European Under-21 Championship 2019 Qualifying Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Everton are among a host of Premier League clubs scouting former Glasgow Rangers defender David Bates who is currently playing for Hamburg in the second division.

The centrehalf left Scotland on a free transfer after he let his previous contract with Rangers expire, and has since then impressed in Germany this season. Bates had originally gone to Glasgow on loan in 2016 from the Raith Rovers reserve squad, and had helped Rangers in the short time he was there with Mark Warburton and former Blue David Weir offering him a new contract.

However Bates failed to come to terms and switched to Hamburg who are looking to make a swift return to the Bundesliga after getting relegated last season. In his seven appearances this season, Hamburg have had five clean sheets, and also conceded a whopping nine goals in the two games he hasn’t played in.

The Toffees, Arsenal, Leicester City, Watford FC and Southampton have all scouted the 22-year-old defender, according to the print edition of the Sunday Mirror. Word has it that Marco Silva is looking to add another young defender to the mix and Bates has piques his interest.

Phil Jagielka is not expected to return next season, while Ashley Williams has played his last game for the Blues. Kurt Zouma, who has impressed this season, is on loan from Chelsea and there has been no word of a deal-to-buy. That leaves Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate as the only central defenders in the squad while Morgan Feeney could make a case for promotion from the Under-23s.