Everton are reportedly considering making an offer for Lille defender Adama Soumaoro as manager Sam Allardyce looks to strengthen and bring down the average age of his backline this month.
Soumaoro has caught the eye of a host of clubs from around Europe in recent months including West Ham United and Borussia Dortmund, though he has only made six appearances for troubled French outfit Lille this season after struggling with an Achilles problem.
With Lille strapped for cash and needing to sell a couple of their better players due to Financial Fair Play concerns, Everton or indeed any interested party - of which there are many - could sign Soumaoro for around £18m, according to Sky Sports.
With Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka entering the twilight period of their respective careers, Everton are in need of some younger legs at the heart of their defence, which has not had a settled partnership at any point in the season. Young defender Mason Holgate has impressed in recent weeks but summer signing Michael Keane has failed to show his best form after signing from Burnley in a deal that could be worth £31m.
The prospective arrival of Soumaoro would also help ease Everton's issues at left-back. With Leighton Baines not exactly close to making a return after suffering a setback in his recovery from a thigh problem sustained in November, Allardyce has had to deploy the much-maligned Cuco Martina as a makeshift left-back since taking over from interim boss David Unsworth in December.
Martina has stepped into the breach admirably but is certainly not a long-term solution at Goodison. Soumaoro would present Allardyce with an alternative to the Curacao international, but a specialist full-back is also on his wishlist.
Soumaoro may well be wearing Everton colours by the end of the month, but one player who may have played his last game for the Toffees is midfielder Muhamed Besic, who is of interest to Serie A outfit Torino.
Besic has never established himself on Merseyside since joining from Hungarian outfit Ferencvaros in the summer of 2014, with injuries and competition for places proving too much for him to overcome.
The Bosnia and Herzegovinia international has only managed 46 minutes of Premier League football this season, but he could be offered a way out of Goodison Park by Torino, who are currently 10th in Serie A. Besic is likely to leave Everton this month, while young midfielder Harry Charsley has left to join Bolton Wanderers on loan until the end of the season.
Everton may well send one of their players to Italy this month, but they are unlikely to bring one to Merseyside. AC Milan forward Andre Silva has been linked with a move to the Toffees and Championship leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent days, but AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli has quashed any speculation over his side's recent £33.5m acquisition, insisting that Silva will remain at the San Siro for many years to come.
"I know Andre Silva is going through tough times but he is a very important player for us," Mirabelli was quoted as saying by The Express. "There is feeling between us and he has amazing skills and qualities.
"He will remain with us in January and is set to stay at the club for many, many years."