Sky Sports sources understand Everton are attempting to beat Aston Villa to the signing of Charles N'Zogbia.
It was revealed on Friday morning Villa had bid £10million for the Wigan winger as they prepare to complete the sale of Stewart Downing to Liverpool.
Villa boss Alex McLeish is an admirer of N'Zogbia after trying to sign him when in charge of former club Birmingham.
But Everton, who have yet to sign a player this summer, are hoping to hijack the move and have expressed a significant interest.
Wigan have admitted that finances are dictating the need to sell star player N'Zogbia and chairman Dave Whelan is thought to want more than £10m.
Whether cash-strapped Everton can match this fee remains to be seen, but chief executive Robert Elstone insists the hunt for players is ongoing, despite limited money.
Elstone said on his blog on Everton's official website earlier on Friday: "The squeeze on money is harder than ever (this summer).
"Despite that, there isn't a day that goes by without the manager and chairman discussing players coming and, yes, players going."
He added: "Everybody is 'flat to the floor' looking for improvements, looking for money, looking for players."
North East derby rivals Newcastle and Sunderland have also been linked with N'Zogbia this summer.