In a report in The Mirror, Everton are ready to step in and steal a march on Premier League rivals Leicester City by throwing a spanner into the Foxes attempt to capture Birmingham wing wizard Demarai Gray.

The Mirror report that the Toffeemen are also willing to meet the youngster’s release clause fee, thought to be £3.75m, and in doing so present the youngster with something of a dilemma as to where his immediate football future lies.

Mirrorsport say that the Toffees “have watched the youngster extensively” over the past year and are “ready to meet the £3.7m asking price” for the still Birmingham player. This would bring Everton into direct competition with Leicester for Gray’s signature, with the Foxes having been thought to have agreed a deal for the much sought after 19-year-old.

Gray was thought to be happy to stay at Birmingham in order to continue his football development, with him playing regularly in the Championship and excelling in the Birmingham side. However, Leicester appreared to have stolen a march on Premier League rival such as Tottenham, Southampton and Bournemouth with an agreement to sign him, only for Everton to throw themselves into the mix. The pull of Leicester wanting Gray to become an immediate fixture in their first team, as well as the youngster being able to still live at home and commute to the East Midlands side, was seen as a big factor.

Everton entering into the fray has thrown an interesting light on what will be the next move in Demarai Gray’s future.

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.

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