Everton have made an official approach to Wolfsburg over the potential signing of Julian Draxler after the Germany winger publicly stated that he wanted to leave the Bundesliga club.
The Independent says the Toffees entertain hopes of signing the 22-year-old, despite Wolfsburg making it clear that the player would not be leaving the club in the summer.
Draxler told German daily Bild earlier this week that he had his heart set on leaving Wolfsburg for an "international top club".
Arsenal, Juventus and Real Madrid have all been linked with the winger, who scored five goals in 21 Bundesliga appearances for Wolfsburg last season and has a release clause of £63m (€75m).
Everton have signed Maarten Stekelenburg and Idrissa Gueye since Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri became a major shareholder in the club in February.
The Merseyside club's inability to offer Champions League football to potential recruits next season is bound to hinder them in their ambitious pursuit of Draxler.
'Wolfsburg a stepping stone'
In his interview with Bild, Draxler accused Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hecking of going back on his word, claiming that there was a verbal agreement between himself and the club that he would be allowed to leave for greener pastures when the opportunity arose.
But Hecking insisted earlier this week that Draxler would not leave the Volkswagen Arena this summer.
"I talked on the phone with coach Hecking. Two days after the semifinal at the Euro I explained my point of view and expressed my wish that I want to leave the club," the Germany international told Bild.
"Now I'm back in Germany and things are being communicated via the media rather than with me in person. Now I also wanted to make myself heard.
"When I transferred to Wolfsburg in 2015, we had a verbal agreement that I can leave the club when a possibility emerges," Draxler continued.
"It was obvious that Wolfsburg showed me a good perspective back then, but also served as stepping stone."
Wolfsburg finished eighth in the Bundesliga last season and will not compete in Europe in the coming campaign.