High-flying Bristol City are reportedly interested in signing Everton starlet Liam Walsh with manager Lee Johnson keen to press on with a £1m ($1.34m) deal for the young midfielder, whose loan spell with fellow Championship club Birmingham City was cut short a few weeks ago.
After managing to maintain their status in English football's second tier last season City have come on leaps and bounds during the current campaign and find themselves in third place, eight points behind leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers who are threatening to run away with the league.
Walsh is highly thought of by the powers that be at Everton and much was expected of him when he joined Birmingham on a loan deal until January, but Cotterill, who is struggling to guide the Midlands outfit away from the relegation zone, saw fit to send him back to his parent club last month.
With a plethora of central midfielders already plying their trade at Goodison Park Walsh's chances of breaking into Sam Allardyce's side are slim at best. City boss Johnson, unperturbed by the England youth international's short-lived loan at St Andrew's, is keen to take advantage of the 20-year-old's situation by pushing forward with a £1m move which has already been given the green light by the Bristol board, according to the Bristol Post.
Everton boss Allardyce has spoken of his desire to bring balance to the Goodison Park squad in the January transfer window and will have meetings with his players in order to determine the best course of action for each and every one of them. The former England manager's transfer business in January could spell the end of Walsh's association with the Toffees, but another of Everton's brightest young talent's stock looks set to rise even further in the coming weeks.
Jonjoe Kenny is set to be rewarded with a long-term contract after establishing himself in Everton's starting line-up in the absence of Seamus Coleman, who is still a few weeks away from making a return to action.
Kenny captained Everton's Under-23s as they won the Premier League 2 last season and has impressed in recent weeks after taking some time to cope with the rigours of the Premier League. The Kirkdale-born full-back is now set to commit his future to his boyhood club until 2022, and Allardyce believes his recent development is a credit to both him and Everton.
"He's [Kenny] been a huge bonus for filling in that position," Allardyce told the Liverpool Echo. "He proved that (he belongs at Premier League level) before I came and he's proven that to me in my short time because he doesn't look out of place.
"It looks like it's the place he's comfortable in and for a young man to play at this level, under these pressures and look comfortable with it, is fantastic to him and to the club for bringing him through the Academy."