Aston Villa are in talks with Everton over the signing of want-away left back Lucas Digne, 90min understands.
The 28-year-old France international has fallen out-of-favour with Toffees boss Rafa Benitez and has barely played in the last couple of months.
Benitez has been scathing of Digne, insisting that he was told by the former Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona man that he wanted to quit Goodison Park.
Everton have brought in Ukrainian youngster Vitaliy Mykolenko as his replacement, leaving the path clear for Digne to leave.
However, Everton have insisted that they would only let Digne leave on a permanent deal and have refused to entertain a loan move away.
Digne, who has already rejected an approach from Newcastle United, had made it clear through his representatives that he would 'love' the chance to move to Chelsea. The Blues are looking for left-sided reinforcements following Ben Chilwell's season-ending knee injury.
Chelsea as well as West Ham, were only willing to do an initial loan, but now Villa have jumped in and opened talks over a permanent deal.
Everton have been looking for £30m, though it is believed Villa are looking to pay less than £25m - but sources have told 90min that both clubs are confident a deal will be struck.
Digne has indicated that he is open to the idea of joining Villa, who have already made a big splash this month with the loan signing of Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho.
Villa aren't necessarily looking to conclude a deal early next week though are wary of late interest from elsewhere. But it is clear that Steven Gerrard is getting the full backing of the club's owners since taking charge.
It is believed Gerrard wants at least another two players on top of Digne and Coutinho, with another midfielder and a forward in his sights.
Source : 90min