Middlesbrough have begun talks about signing midfielder Mo Besic on a permanent basis, according to reports in the English media.
The Bosnian international sealed a season-long loan switch to the Riverside at the end of August but Tony Pulis is keen to secure him for the long term.
Besic has performed well in a Boro shirt since joining on his second loan spell, scoring two goals and providing two assists in 12 appearances.
After also impressing during the second half of last season at Middlesbrough, the Teessiders have decided to hold discussions with Everton to head off interest from rivals.
With the Toffees having an abundance of options in midfield, Besic doesn’t have a future at Goodison Park, leaving Boro in pole position to land him permanently.
Reports back in August indicated that the North East club tried to sign the 26-year-old for £6m before a loan switch was agreed, and it looks as though this will be revisited in January.