Everton have agreed an initial £25m fee for Norwich City defender Ben Godfrey in what would be a club record sale.
No side conceded more goals than the Canaries in the Premier League last season, but despite their rock-bottom finishes and questionable tactics, their defenders have been tipped as stars of the future.
Jamal Lewis has joined Newcastle after being the subject of interest from Liverpool, Max Aarons has been linked with Bayern Munich and Barcelona throughout the summer, with Godfrey now set to leave the Championship club for a return to the Premier League.
Everton have been knocked out in their recent approach to signing Godfrey, with their £20m bid plus a £6m add-on rejected by Daniel Forke. They have since come back with an improved offer of £25m plus add-ons, which the BBC reports has been successful.
A medical is scheduled for Friday with personal conditions not considered an issue. The centre-back will become the Toffees’ fifth signing of the window following the additions of James Rodriguez, Allen, Abdoulaye Dokure and Niles Nkunko.
National League North side York City are to receive £2.5 million as part of the move, having inserted a sell-on clause in the deal when he left the club to join Norwich in January 2016.
Godfrey’s Norwich won at Goodison Park last season / LINDSEY PARNABY/Getty Images
Carlo Ancelotti was chasing a deal for Chelsea’s Faccio Tomori, but the move has now stalled. Norwich have already added Burnley’s Ben Gibson to their ranks in anticipation of a flurry of bids for Godfrey, who made 30 Premier League appearances last season.
No centre-half has left Goodison Park this summer, but Ancelotti is nonetheless keen to bolster that department after his side have scored 34 goals in their 27 appearances since taking charge.
For more from Ross Kennerly, follow him on Twitter!