According to Gianluca di Marzio, Everton recently failed with a £18m bid to land the services of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille.
The Toffees were in advanced negotiations to sign the Brazilian earlier in the year, but a deal did not materialise amid the global health crisis due to COVID-19.
Over the past few weeks, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have revived their interest in the centre-back, but it now appears that Napoli have the clear advantage in the player’s pursuit.
Earlier this week, the Toffees made an £18m bid (€20m) bid for the defender, but the offer was rejected by Lille, who are said to have a gentleman’s agreement with Napoli.
The Naples outfit are currently open to offers for Kalidou Koulibaly and his potential exit could see them finalise the transfer of Gabriel from Les Dogues.
Should that not happen, the Toffees may still struggle to secure the player’s signature, given the high-profile interest from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United.
Ancelotti currently has only three senior central defenders in Mason Holgate, Yerry Mina and Michael Keane in the first-team squad.
Holgate was impressive with his displays last term, but the likes of Keane and Mina were not consistent enough while playing alongside the 23-year-old.
Gabriel, 22, has been the prime target, but a deal now appears unlikely. Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings has recently been mentioned as an option to bolster the central defence.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com