Everton are interested in signing West Brom striker Shane Long in January, reports the Daily Mail.

The Republic of Ireland international has hit the headlines in the early stages of the season, second in West Brom's top-scoring list with three Premier League goals, trailing only behind bright prospect Saido Berahino. 

The former Reading man has yet to agree a new deal at the Hawthorns, and may be tempted by high-flying Everton, who have got off to a bright start to the season following the arrival of Roberto Martinez.

Steve Clarke may be persuaded to cash in on Long while his stock is high, as The Sun claims the Baggies manager have no money to spend in January, and would have to create his own funds.

Clarke has been keen to tie up a deal for Long, to simmer ongoing speculation that he's on his way out. The 50-year-old appeared positive in November about the chances of securing Long's future:

“I’ve said all along Shane has a big future for us. We will sit down and I’m sure the talk will try to sort that one out.”

26-year old Long however seemed eager to keep his options open when he spoke about his future a month ago:

"I am just concentrating on my football at West Brom and if a new contract doesn't get sorted out, then I'll have to look at pastures new."

Long's honesty has alerted Martinez and Everton to his services, as the Merseyside club look for a strike partner for Romelu Lukaku. 

With the striker's contract set to run out in 2014, West Brom will want to secure a deal very quickly as his form continues to impress the bigger clubs in the division.

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