Everton defender Lewis Gibson is reportedly close to joining Championship side Reading on loan.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the 20-year-old prospect is on the verge of making a move to Reading and a loan could be completed by early next week.
It is claimed that Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti rates the youngster highly and was looking to keep him as part of the senior squad, but a loan to gain first-team experience has been viewed as the best step for him.
The report adds that he will have a break clause in the loan agreement, which means Everton could recall him in January or send him elsewhere.
Gibson was involved in games during pre-season for Everton and is clearly in the thinking of Ancelotti.
The left-footed centre-back impressed in League One during a short-term loan with Fleetwood Town last seaso, so a move to continue his development in the second-tier makes sense.
He has represented England up to the Under-20 age group and is a highly-rated talent with a big future.
Everton have a crop of talented young players knocking on the door for the first-team and attacker Anthony Gordon is perhaps the outstanding example of that.
Gibson looks like a composed ball-playing centre-back with a bright future ahead of him, but the competition in the heart of Everton’s defence is stiff right now and he will be much more equipped to challenge for a spot next year after a full season in the Championship.