Everton have made contact with Norwich City about signing central defender Ben Godfrey.
Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti is looking to boost his options in defence after injuries to Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite.
Everton’s preference is for a loan but Championship side Norwich would not consider that option.
Godfrey is under contract with the Canaries until 2023 and they value the 22-year-old in excess of £20m.
“We are looking for a centre-back because we are short but at the moment he plays for Norwich,” said Ancelotti after Everton’s Carabao Cup win over West Ham on Wednesday.
The Carrow Road club received a club record £20m – plus £4m in add-ons – from Leicester City for James Maddison in 2018 and would want more than that for Godfrey.
He joined Norwich in 2016 from York City for £150,000 and played a key part in their promotion to the Premier League in 2018-19.
Godfrey made 30 top-flight appearances last season as the Canaries were relegated back to the Championship.
Everton have also shown interest in Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori.
But with the future of fellow Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger uncertain, it may prove difficult to persuade Frank Lampard’s side to part with the England defender.