Everton saw a bid to sign Saint Etienne forward Denis Bouanga rejected by the French club this summer.
That’s according to But! Football Club, who say the Blues and Atalanta were both keen to sign the 25-year-old in this window.
Bouanga has been heavily linked with a move away from the Ligue 1 club this summer after impressing for them last season.
Everton were one of several Premier League clubs named among his suitors over the last few months, with them rebuilding under Carlo Ancelotti.
However, those rumours have died down over the last few weeks, particularly after Everton managed to complete a deal for James Rodriguez.
It seems there may have been another reason, though; Saint Etienne’s reluctance to sell their star man.
But! Football explain that manager Claude Puel made it clear that Bouanga was not to be sold this summer and so the club ‘remained firm’ despite efforts from two clubs.
They were Atalanta and Everton, who are both said to have ‘stirred’ to try and secure ASSE’s top goalscorer from last season.
Those efforts were quickly dismissed, with it now looking likely that Bouanga will remain at the club this season before ‘packing up’ next summer.