Manager who speaks to Sean Dyche almost daily confirms he wants to sign Everton defender

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Everton defender Lewis Gibson is currently on loan at Bristol Rovers.

Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton has admitted he would like to to make Lewis Gibson’s loan move from Everton permanent.

The centre-back signed for the Toffees from Newcastle United in 2017 for a reported fee that could reach £6 million with add-ons. However, Gibson has failed to make a first-team impact at Goodison Park in his six years at the club.

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The 22-year-old has not made his senior bow for Everton and has been sent on loan to Fleetwood Town, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday before joining Rovers last summer - after signing a contract extension on Merseyside.

In total, Gibson as made 26 appearances for the Gas this campaign and was handed the captain’s armband after skipper Sam Finley was substituted in a 2-1 defeat of Fleetwood in League One on Easter Monday.

Barton played under Everton boss Sean Dyche while he was in charge of Burnley and revealed that they still speak almost daily.

As reported by our sister title BristolWorld, Barton’s not made it a secret that he wants to keep Gibson - who was part of England’s under-17 World Cup-winning squad in 2017 - at the Memorial Stadium. However, that could depend on whether the Toffees can avoid Premier League relegation.

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Former Manchester City midfielder Barton said: “It’ll depend on what Everton want to do. I haven’t spoken to Dychey about it. We speak almost on a daily basis but Gibbo isn’t one we’ve spoken about.

“I think it’ll depend what his contract is at Everton and what Everton do and what division they are in. If Everton drop to the Championship they may well keep hold of Gibbo. I don’t know what the future looks like. I think it’s less likely if they stay in the Premier League but who knows?

“I know Dychey was a centre-half and he’ll be watching Lewis and fully aware of his qualities. We’d love him to stay at the football club but he’s Everton’s player and he knows exactly how we feel about him. From our perspective, if someone comes from higher up with a bigger budget and the opportunity to play in the Championship it’s going to be tricky. He’s enjoying his football, being fit and in a good defence.

“He’s played a lot of football for me as a manager and hopefully he wants to do that more. We’d be delighted to do that if that’s the case but it’s not in our court.”

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