Everton are set to win the race to sign James Tarkowski, who is now due on Merseyside for a medical, 90min can confirm.

The 29-year-old’s current deal with Burnley expires at the end of June, with the centre-back available to sign on a free transfer this summer.

With the Clarets suffering relegation from the Premier League, it was always likely Tarkowski would leave Turf Moor. As revealed by 90min in May, Everton topped a group of clubs interested in the two-time England international, sitting ahead of the likes of Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Leicester City in the running.

A source informed 90min that Everton offered Tarkowski a far more lucrative deal than any other club, with the former Brentford man top of Frank Lampard’s wish-list. By contrast, Tarkowski was only ever a back-up option for the other interested parties.

90min understands Tarkowski has accepted Everton’s offer and is due for a medical, with the club keen to complete the deal as soon as this week.

Lampard’s desire to land Tarkowski is understandable. The Toffees only secured their Premier League status with a 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace in the penultimate game of the season and conceded 66 goals across 2021/22 – only Southampton (67), Watford (77), Leeds United (79) and Norwich City (84) allowed more.

Yerry Mina was arguably Everton’s best option at centre-back but played just 13 Premier League matches this season. 90min understands that defensive partner Michael Keane is one of a number of players Everton would be happy to let go if a suitable offer is tabled.

Tarkowski, meanwhile, ranked in the top three per cent of centre-backs across Europe’s top five leagues when it came to blocks, aerial duels won, clearances and touches in the opposition box last season. The Manchester-born defender has missed just 15 matches across the last four Premier League seasons combined.

James Tarkowski’s 2021/22 Premier League stats:

Everton not having to pay a transfer fee was also an important factor, with sources telling 90min the Toffees face the prospect of having to sell either Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin this summer to ease their Financial Fair Play worries.

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