Everton have activated the release clause in Idrissa Gueye’s Aston Villa contract, reports claimed on Tuesday evening.
Stories emerged suggesting the Merseysiders – who beat MK Dons in a pre-season friendly – could be about to sign the midfielder.
The Senegal international, 26, only joined the Villans last summer from Lille and he went on to make 38 appearances as the club were relegated from the top flight.
If Ronald Koeman’s side complete the deal for Gueye, they could pay around £7million for a man whose playing style has been compared to N’Golo Kante’s.
Villa chief executive Keith Wyness insisted the relegated side want to keep Gueye, even if he is likely to leave this summer.
He tweeted: “Re idrissa gueye (Gana), we do not welcome any interest in this player from any club #fightlikelions”.
As the story surfaced, fans reacted on social media – some excited, some less so and other supporters slightly jealous – see below: