Everton are set to rival Koln in the race to sign teenage Italian midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, according to Italian publication TuttoMercatoWeb.
The report states that the Virtus Entella midfielder has already been watched by the Toffees’ scouting team as well as Koln, with both clubs now ready to move for the 17-year-old in the summer.
Zaniolo has caught the attention of the Merseyside club after graduating from Entella’s youth ranks into the first team of the Serie B club.
The three-time Italy Under-19 international has now clocked up seven senior appearances for Entella just 12 months after joining from Serie A outfit Fiorentina on a free transfer, as his side finished in 11th place.
Zaniolo is not the only teenage sensation Ronald Koeman’s side are reportedly eyeing, with The Mirror claiming the Toffees are readying a second bid for QPR midfielder Josh Bowler after having an initial £3million bid rejected.
Entella’s number 21 would find plenty of competition at Goodison Park next season if Koeman does indeed decide to sign the youngster.
Following the January signing of Morgan Schneiderlin and the breakthrough of Tom Davies, the Toffees have an abundance of midfielders at their disposal including the likes of Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gueye and James McCarthy.
Able to play in both attacking midfield and even out wide if needed, Zaniolo’s versatility could be crucial in the Toffees’ chase of finishing in the Premier League’s top six next season.