Seagull in Toffees link
By Simon Fudge. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Everton boss David Moyes is thought to be keeping an eye on Brighton & Hove Albion left back Daniel Harding.
The 20-year-old (pictured) has made great strides with the South Coast club in recent months, having earned an England Under-21 cap under Peter Taylor in August.
The Toffees are keen to bring a new left back to Goodison Park and may be prepared to offer a bid for Harding in the January transfer window, with Everton chairman Bill Kenwright having declared that money would be available for new signings.
Despite the links of Harding with Everton, Seagulls boss Mark McGhee claims the youngster is set to sign a new contract with Brighton.
"We are hoping to have a meeting with Dan and his representatives in the next week or so," said McGhee.
"Dan has stated he wants to stay at the club and we are pleased he has put everyone's mind at rest.
"Everton or any other club would not be doing their jobs properly if they did not see good young players around the country.
"If they are interested in Dan Harding they will eventually come and tell us, but it is pure and utter speculation at the moment."
The Merseyside club's search for a new left back has also linked them with Wigan Athletic's Leighton Baines.
The talented defender has been a revelation for The Latics this term and has already cemented a role in Taylor's Under-21 squad, but Wigan may be reluctant to let the youngster leave with possible Premiership promotion on the cards at this season's end.
Meanwhile, Brighton boss Mark McGhee has offered on-loan midfielder Alexis Nicolas a permanent move and Dean Hammond a new contract.
Nicolas, 21, is in the middle of a three-month loan spell at The Withdean Stadium from Premiership side Chelsea.
McGhee is hoping to secure the Cyprus Under-21 player's services permanently before his loan deal expires at the end of October.
Hammond, meanwhile, has been offered a new deal until the summer of 2006, with his current three-month contract to expire this week.
"We have made a permanent offer to Alexis," McGhee told The Argus.
"I spoke to him and we hope to resolve something before the end of this week."