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Everton linked with Sociedad defender Llorente

Though the Blues may face competition from their neighbours for the 25-year-old’s signature

Real Sociedad v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga
Llorente (left) has played 19 times for Real Sociedad this season
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Everton are reportedly interested in Real Sociedad central defender Diego Llorente.

Llorente, 25, is attracting the interest of both the Blues and their Merseyside rivals, Liverpool, according to Basque newspaper Noticias de Gipuzkoa.

The paper suggests that Llorente, who has a release clause of roughly £43 million and whose contract expires in the summer of 2022, could be prised away from Sociedad for a fee of about £25 million.

The Spaniard joined Sociedad, ninth in La Liga, in June 2017 for about £7 million from Real Madrid, where he started his career, following loan spells at Rayo Vallecano and Malaga.

Real Madrid CF v Real Sociedad - La Liga
Llorente faced former club Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in January, helping Sociedad to a 2-0 win
LPhoto by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

He made his Spain debut in May 2016, but has since won just one more cap for his nation.

Everton will surely be in the market for another centre-half in the summer, with Phil Jagielka, 36, unlikely to remain at the club beyond this season and loanee Kurt Zouma expected to return to parent club Chelsea following their imposition of their transfer ban.

Should both depart, and Ashley Williams and Matthew Pennington make their likely departures once their respective loans at Stoke City and Ipswich Town end, manager Marco Silva would be left with Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate as his only senior centre-backs.

Sociedad is also where Everton reject Sandro Ramirez has been this season, though with how poorly he’s played that might make them even more unlikely to sell us a player than anything.