Everton are currently edging out Napoli in the race for Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo and ‘hold the rope’ for the player.

That’s according to Le 10 Sport, who say that the Blues ‘take the lead’ for the centre back, who is expected to leave Barcelona before the end of the window.

Carlo Ancelotti is keen to add another centre back to his squad after missing on Gabriel Magalhães to Arsenal earlier in the summer.

They had been linked with a move for Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori, but Frank Lampard is not keen on letting the youngster go, so Everton have turned their attention elsewhere.

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That has seen a re-emergence of links to Todibo, who has been named as a potential target for the majority of this year.

Recent reports have indicated that Barcelona are ‘working’ with Everton on a potential move, although they are keen to sell and the Toffees are only interested in a loan, so the two parties were apart.

Le 10 Sport now pick up on those reports and say, according to their information, Everton are one of the ‘concrete avenues’ for Todibo.

They say two clubs are ‘fighting’ for the defender’s signature, and that is Everton and Napoli. However, it is the former who are at the front of the queue.

The website says that Everton ‘hold the rope’ for Todibo and take the lead in the race for him ‘as part of a loan’. In other words, they’re further ahead in negotiations about a loan move.

There’s no mention of the details involved in that loan deal, for example, whether it includes a purchase option or a purchase obligation. How far along Everton interest genuinely is would be questionable, but it can be sure this is a route Barcelona will have tried.