Everton will be looking to add a defender or two in the upcoming January transfer window, but it appears they're going to have to fend off interest in Mason Holgate first.
In his weekly column in The Athletic, the reliable David Ornstein indicated that the youngster was being watched by Sheffield United, Newcastle and AFC Bournemouth with all three sides looking to put in bids.
He goes on to add that the 23-year-old is rated at about £14 million, and that his biggest draw is how comfortable he has been with the ball at his feet, especially playing in a three-man backline.
The Blues entered the season with just three senior centrehalves, and have somehow muddled through the first few months despite Yerry Mina's niggling injuries and Michael Keane's awful form.
Holgate's versatility was on display yesterday as interim manager Duncan Ferguson used him to great effect as a defensive midfielder away at Manchester United where he was one of Everton's best players.
With a contract that only expires at the end of the 2021-22 season, the Blues really have no reason to sell the defender they bought from Barnsley in 2015 for just £2 million, unless they are blown away by an offer for him, hit even then that would leave the Toffees in need of signing two central defenders in January, a time Director of Football Marcel Brands traditionally does not like shopping at.
Holgate has been error-prone often in the past, but this season has put together a series of composed performances that looks like he's finally turned the corner. While the rumours may be true that there's teams coming asking about him, Everton will likely be sending them packing.