Everton are confident they’ve won the race to the £25m signing of Burnley and England defender Michael Keane.

The 24-year-old is Ronald Koeman’s first choice centre half target and Everton have agreed to Burnley’s valuation of the defender, who has 12 months remaining on his existing contract.

Everton expect to complete the transfer before they return for pre-season training next week.

Player profile via Tom Ferguson.

Like many targeted by Ronald Koeman and his recruitment team, Michael Keane meets the criteria of building a squad for the long term.

Keane is 24 and standing at 6ft3, it’s no surprise the Stockport born lad is supreme in the air.

Facts bear that out – he won 149 aerial duels in the last campaign.

Excellent composure on the ball is a quality most modern defenders have and this is no different with Keane.

Koeman was a handy centre half himself. So I imagine he knows one when he sees one.

Who’s better to nurture a young central defensive prodigy than one of the finest in that position of his generation?

Keane rightly received massive plaudits last season for his form at the back for Sean Dyche’s Burnley.

He was nominated for the PFA young player of the year award, and rightly so. He was also shortlisted to feature in the prestigious PFA team of the year.

He narrowly missed out on both but it was a stunning breakout season for Michael in the proclaimed ‘best league in the world’.

He was immense in helping Burnley preserve their Premier League status while they also boasted one of the best home records in the country.

The former Manchester United ace has proved himself a real talent since leaving Old Trafford, topped with a couple of England caps.

It’s already clear to see, Keane is going to have a long Three Lions career.

The player is a perfect fit to replace an ageing Phil Jagielka in the Blues’ back line.

Like fellow England international Jordan Pickford, don’t look too much into the alleged price tag.

The potential of 10+ years quality service in the side is priceless.

And buying proven players from this league brings its own benefits.

There’s no delay while they find their feet in the big league. They just slot right in. Simple as that.

Up the Toffees.