Everton are reportedly keeping tabs on Stoke City’s giant defender Harry Souttar, with assistant manager Duncan Ferguson scouting him personally.

According to an exclusive report from The Sun, Everton have set their sights on Australian defender Harry Souttar and have been closely monitoring the Stoke City defender with assistant manager Duncan Ferguson himself undertaking scouting missions.

Souttar started out his youth football journey in Australia before moving to the academy of Scottish club Dundee United in 2011 where he had a rapid rise to the first-team, making his debut in May 2016 at the age of 17. Months later, he was snapped up by Stoke City, who then farmed him out on loan to Ross County and Fleetwood Town (twice).

Souttar became a first-team regular for the Potters last season and has, to date, made 56 appearances for the club, in which he has two goals and three assists. The 22-year-old has missed just one of Stoke’s eleven Championship matches this season and has captained the team on several occasions, indicating his standing within the side.

His development over the past year with Stoke has been enough for Everton to take an interest in the 22-year-old. The Toffees have a well-stocked centre-back unit comprising Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey, Mason Holgate and Yerry Mina as things stand, while youngster Jarrad Branthwaite is also an option for manager Rafael Benitez.

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However, as per the report, Mina, who impressed in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Saturday, has his heart set on a transfer to Serie A, with Inter Milan and Fiorentina keen on the Colombian international. Everton have been made aware of his desire and while they are reluctant to let him go, they will be prepared to do a deal for a transfer fee of £21 million.

Mina’s potential departure from Goodison Park will leave a gaping hole in the centre-back department, which the Merseyside giants will need to address. Souttar, to that end, has emerged as a viable target for Everton, with assistant manager Duncan Ferguson himself scouting the 22-year-old defender.

Whether this interest from Everton in the five-time capped Australian international leads to a formal approach in the January window or in the summer remains to be seen. For now though, the Toffees are keeping a close watch on the towering defender’s progress at Stoke City.

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