Stuart Pearce admits he would “be astounded” if Everton go unrivalled for the £25million signing of Michael Keane.
Everton are reported to be closing in on a deal to purchase the highly-rated Keane from Burnley after a promising season last campaign.
The centre-half starred for the Clarets in the Premier League and also earned his first England caps.
Manchester United have been linked with a move for their former player, but it appears as though Everton will go unchallenged.
They are expected to seal a £25m deal within a matter of days, and Pearce would be “astounded” if none of the Premier League’s elite tried for the 24-year-old.
“I’ve got to say, if Everton get there before any of the top four, five or six, I’ll be astounded,” he told talkSPORT.
“If I was one of the bigger sides, I would get in and get there before Everton.
“I think if Everton get there before them they have signed an extremely good central defender that is going to improve and maybe even move on for bigger money when he eventually goes.”