Everton could face a battle to keep summer recruit Ramiro Funes Mori at Goodison Park beyond this season amidst reported interest from La Liga leaders Barcelona.
The Liverpool Echo claims, as per Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, that the defender's impressive performances have caught the eye of Barca scouts, who originally travelled to Merseyside to watch Gerard Deulofeu.
The La Liga giants have since been tracking the Argentine, suggesting he could emerge a summer transfer target.
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Signed from River Plate last September, Funes Mori has registered 20 appearances in the Premier League for the Toffees, scoring twice in the process.
Capable of playing at either centre-back or full-back, the 24-year-old is also something of a dead ball specialist and could add another dimension to Barca's current defensive options.
He made just over 100 appearances for his former club and eventually earned a call-up to the Argentina national side in March 2015.
Any move away from Goodison Park would prove damaging to manager Roberto Martinez, who already faces fresh interest in John Stones this summer from several of Europe's elite, Barcelona included.
The England international's steep price tag has previously proved a stumbling block for the Champions League holders, though, with Funes Mori a cheaper and equally capable prospect.
Club captain Phil Jagielka, meanwhile, has suffered from an array of injuries this term, suggesting Martinez has a busy summer ahead of defensive recruitment.
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