By George Overhill

18th Jun, 2022 | 3:10pm

Everton want Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury ahead of Nottingham Forest

Everton are chasing Leicester City midfielder Hamza Choudhury but face competition from newly-promoted Nottingham Forest, The Mirror reports.

The 24-year-old only has a year left on his contract at the King Power Stadium so is available for a cut-price fee as the Foxes look to get some return on him before he can leave for nothing.

The Premier League pair appear to have arrived at the top of the pile for the former England under-21 international, as Championship duo West Brom and Middlesbrough have previously been linked.

According to The Mirror’s report the defensive midfield man is seen as someone who can “add some more steel” and protect the back four.

He was also pushed into action as a makeshift centre-back by Brendan Rodgers for a 4-1 FA Cup win over Watford in January.

After a high of 29 first-team appearances in the 2019/20 season, including 20 in the top flight, he only managed six league outings in the 2021/22 campaign, out of 12 in total, and is on the look-out for more first-team football.

Worthwhile?

This could be a race that the Toffees are in a good position to win as nominally the biggest club credited with an interest in the player.

He is likely to be affordable, which is a key consideration for Frank Lampard this summer, considering his contract status, and could even be available on a loan with a buy option.

A temporary move to Chris Wilder’s Boro side was considered the most likely option by Teesside Live, and if that allows Everton to bring him to the club and only sign him if he settles then it would be an attractive idea.

He is a different profile of player to Lampard’s other midfield target, Tottenham’s Harry Winks, but considering the ease with which some teams tore through the line-up in the recently-completed season they could use all the help they can get in shoring things up.

The addition of James Tarkowski, expected to be announced at the end of the month [Liverpool Echo], is a big step towards doing that in the back-line, and Choudhury could help ahead of them.

If the manager sees him as an option to replace the often-injured Fabian Delph, and that he should be available more regularly, this might make sense.

But Leicester had one of their poorer seasons in recent years in finishing eighth, and if Choudhury was unable to break into the side he might not represent a major upgrade at Goodison.

In other Everton news, the club may be forced into accepting less in the sale of a star player as teams use the financial situation against them.

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