Fulham are reportedly keen on signing Everton defender Mason Holgate, who has been told he can leave Goodison Park on loan in January.

However, the Derby Telegraph cite Skysports in reporting that the Whites will face competition from Championship sides Derby County and Sheffield United for his services.

The 22-year-old has fallen out of Toffees boss Marco Silva’s plans having featured regularly at the start of the season.

Holgate, who can play at centre-back or right-back, started four of Everton’s first five Premier League fixtures this campaign but has now not featured in their last nine matchday squads.

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It seems clear that Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri wishes to strengthen his defence when the transfer window opens in just over two weeks time, with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill and Manchester United’s Matte Darmian both being linked in recent weeks.

The Everton man signed a new five-year contract on Merseyside last year, so seems to be in the club’s long-term future.

However, it will be up to Silva to decide whether the England U21 international would benefit most from top-flight or Championship football in the short term.

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