Everton are reportedly among the frontrunners to sign Burnley defender James Tarkowski this summer, as Frank Lampard looks to bolster his defensive options at Goodison Park.
According to Dominic King in the Daily Mail, the Toffees and Aston Villa are the frontrunners to sign the 29-year-old centre-back on a free transfer, as he prepares to leave Burnley following their relegation to the Championship.
Fulham, Leeds United and Leicester City are also credited with an interest in the former England international but the Toffees will be hoping that they can attract him to Merseyside, and they may have the edge over Villa after the latter confirmed the signing of Diego Carlos from Sevilla earlier this week.
Everton’s defensive woes were a key element in their fight against relegation last season and Lampard will surely be keen to add experience and quality at the back if his side are to steer well clear of the bottom three in the 2022/23 Premier League campaign.
The Toffees conceded 66 goals in the top flight, which was the fifth-worst of any side, while their top defensive performer according to WhoScored was Lucas Digne, despite the Frenchman leaving for Villa in January.
Tarkowski offers a wealth of experience, having made 194 Premier League appearances in his career thus far, in which he has contributed seven goals and five assists.
His performances have also earned him two England caps, and the £19.8m-rated centre-back will no doubt be aiming to reclaim his spot in Gareth Southgate’s squad with some strong performances next season ahead of the winter World Cup in Qatar.
Former Clarets boss Sean Dyche labelled Tarkowski “outstanding” after he made his Premier League debut in 2017 and the defender has gone from strength to strength since then, regularly averaging above a 7/10 rating from WhoScored for his performances across a top-flight season.
Considering that he is available on a free transfer, this signing would surely be an impressive one for the Toffees, so supporters will be hoping that the recent reports suggesting that Lampard’s side are in a prime position to sign him are true. Everton must now seize that apparent advantage and get this coup over the line ahead of rival Premier League clubs.
And, in other news… Everton can sign their own Lampard in 21 y/o wonderkid