According to reports in Belgium, Everton and West Ham will battle it out to sign Burnley midfielder Steven Defour this summer.
Belgian outlet Nieuwsblad.be claim West Ham want to sign the tough tackling midfielder, but will face stern competition from the Toffees.
The 29 year-old Belgian has had some injury issues this season, but has still managed 24 league appearances for Sean Dyche’s Clarets.
Both West Ham and Everton could undergo massive squad overhauls this summer, and both sides have glaring weaknesses in midfield.
Defour’s contract runs out in the summer of 2019, though the report from Nieuwsblad.be does say he would be open to extending his Clarets contract.
Defour is unquestionably talented, and has earned over 50 Belgium caps despite the depth of midfield options in Belgium’s golden generation.
The 29 year-old has one goal and one assist this season, but it’s not his attacking output that makes him appealing as much as what he offers in a defensive sense. Defour will cover every inch of grass, and is the type of player that every manager would want in their team.
He is averaging 1.4 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per game in Burnley’s midfield, and his eye for a pass makes him a useful key in unlocking deep defences. He also has that bit of star quality, as he showed with his tremendous free kick goal at Old Trafford this season.
Valued at £6.3million by Transfermarkt, Defour’s reading of the game would be extremely beneficial to either of the linked clubs, but he would be a better fit at Goodison.
Everton are just missing someone in midfield to link things up between the expensive attacking flair they brought in last summer, and Defour could be the perfect fit.
Everton fans, would you like to see a summer swoop for Defour? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…