Everton are locked in negotiations with Wigan Athletic for the services of Toffees midfielder Joe Williams, according to Wigan Today.
The Latics’ local press understudy the Championship side are ‘closing in’ on the 22-year-old’s signature, after he was made available for a permanent transfer by the Blues.
We recently rejected a £1million offer from the second-tier outfit for Williams, but were braced for an improved bid as the midfielder is believed to have suitors elsewhere now that he has entered the final twelve months of his contract.
Wigan boss Paul Cook is hopeful his side can facilitate a quick end to negotiations, having recently acquired another product of the Blues’ academy in Antonee Robinson, who moved to the DW Stadium earlier this month.
Cook sees Williams as someone who can challenge new signing Lewis Macleod next season, as well as offering competition to Lee Evans and captain Sam Morsy.
First-team minutes on Merseyside are not on the horizon for Williams if his proposed move to the Latics falls through, as the 22-year-old is far down Marco Silva’s list of Under 23s that could make the step up next season.
Williams is yet to make a competitive first-team appearance for the Toffees, but will leave the club with two Premier League 2 titles to his name, having featured twice under David Unsworth last term before joining Bolton Wanderers on loan.
The Liverpool-born midfielder would make 30 outings for Bolton in the Championship, with whom he assisted twice and saw seven yellow cards. Before that, he spent time on loan with Barnsley, where he netted the only senior goal of his career to date.
Williams’ departure could signal the second midfielder to leave Everton this week, after the club confirmed Idrissa Gana Gueye’s move to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £30million.