Everton are closing in a deal for England Under-21 defender Ben Godfrey which could cost them close to £30million.
Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti has made the Norwich centre half his number one target to fill a gaping hole in his back line, and it is understood the Merseyside club has already had one offer turned down.
That approach was thought to be a deal which guaranteed £20m, plus add-ons that would take the total figure to around £26m if bonus targets were met.
But Norwich are adamant they will not budge from the £30m asking price they slapped on the defender, who played a full season in the Premier League before the Canaries were relegated last summer.
And with a loan deal for Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori seemingly dead in the water, Everton are edging towards meeting that price tag, with the expectation they will make another bid before the transfer window closes on Monday, which would trigger the deal.
The Goodison club are short at centre half, with only two fit senior players in that position, as Mason Holgate is out for at least another three weeks.
And Ancelotti has made no secret of the fact he wants a new signing in defence before the window closes – or of his admiration for Godfrey.
The 22 year old made 30 appearances in the Premier League for Norwich last season, his impressive form winning him a call up to the England U21 squad.
He has started all the Canaries opening three matches of the Championship this season, but it is understood he will be allowed to leave if a deal can be thrashed out.
Ancelotti spoke about the defender after Everton’s EFL Cup win over West Ham, and Ancelotti – who confirmed that he is still keen on signing a centre half – did little to play down the news, when asked if he had submitted the bid.
“I said in the past that we are looking for a centre back because we are short there, and Godfrey is a really good centre back, but he is at this moment playing for Norwich, so I can’t say more,” he said.
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