Everton boss Roberto Martinez has confirmed the club have made contact with Leeds United over the possibility of signing Sam Byram.
Martinez is short of options at right-back, with Seamus Coleman ruled out for another three weeks with the calf injury he sustained against Manchester City in the Capital One Cup last week.
The Spaniard asked John Stones to deputise there on Wednesday in the Premier League clash with City, but he would prefer to have a recognised right-sided defender and has admitted the Toffees have made their move for Byram.
The news broke when the Championship outfit revealed an approach from the Merseysiders for the 22-year-old, who has entered the final six months of his contract at Elland Road.
The Whites youth product has started in 16 of the club’s 26 league games this season, with another six appearances coming from the bench.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Chelsea on Saturday, Martinez said: “As you can imagine there has been an approach. That’s where the confirmation came from, Leeds United, but there is nothing else to comment on.
“At the moment you have to be very, very careful. I don’t enjoy the window clashing with important games; Leeds United have very important games, we have got a very important game and at the moment there is nothing else to comment on in that situation.
“There has been an initial approach – an initial step – but from there to having conclusive news for our fans is a long gap still. We don’t do things by being quick or panicky. If there is any signing to be made it needs to be the right character, it needs to be the right addition, and that will always be the case.
“In any process there will be initial steps and some processes become very long. The only thing that matters to us at the moment is the game on Saturday against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and whenever we have got something to announce to our fans we will do that straight away.”