In Focus: Everton lead Liverpool in race to sign the highly-rated Ezri Konsa

According to reports in The Mirror, Everton are leading arch-rivals Liverpool in the race to sign £5m-rated Charlton Athletic starlet Ezri Konsa, whose current boss Karl Robinson rates him as the best young defender in England.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Mirror says that the League One outfit have agreed to sell the 20-year-old defender for £5m before the January transfer window slams shut, and the Toffees and their local neighbours are both keen on the England U20 World Cup winner.

The Mirror says that Addicks manager Robinson rates Konsa extremely highly and Everton are said to be the frontrunners for his signature having bought Ademola Lookman from Charlton last January, and with chief scout Martyn Glover watching him in action against Blackburn last month.

The report adds that Liverpool are keen to team him up with another former Addick in Joe Gomez, with Robinson hopeful that the player could be loaned back to them for the rest of the season if he does go before the end of the month.

How has Konsa done this season?

He has done very well.

The 20-year-old has established himself as first-team regular across the last 18 months for Charlton, and he has already made 31 appearances in all competitions for them this term.

The versatile starlet, who similarly to Gomez at Liverpool is able to play as a centre-back or a right-back, has played 70 times for the Addicks in total.

Would he be a good signing for Everton?

He certainly would be.

Konsa looks to have a really bright future ahead of him, and with the likes of Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams currently some of the Merseyside outfit’s defensive options, they need to start looking to the future.

Will they get him ahead of Liverpool?

It’s difficult to say.

Konsa may not be impressed that after impressing initially last season, Lookman’s first-team appearances have dried up this term while Joe Gomez has been something of a regular for Liverpool with their defensive troubles.

That said, the 20-year-old will still feel he will have more of a chance of playing regularly at Goodison Park, and at the end of the day it will be down to which club he wants to join as long as both offer the required £5m fee.