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Everton lead race to sign Charlton's Ademola Lookman - sources

Ademola Lookman in action for England under-20 against Germany under-20.
Ademola Lookman in action for England under-20s.

Everton are leading the race to sign Charlton Athletic striker Ademola Lookman when the transfer window reopens next month, sources close to the League One club have told ESPN FC.

Lookman, 19, is regarded as one of the best young prospects in the country after impressing for Charlton over the last 18 months.

The skilful forward scored five goals in the Championship last term in his breakthrough season, while he has scored six goals in 20 appearances so far this time around.

Most of the Premier League's big guns, including Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, have been tracking Lookman, with Crystal Palace seeing several bids rejected for the forward on transfer deadline day in the summer.

However, Everton are looking to steal a march on their top-flight rivals by setting up a deal to sign Lookman next month.

Charlton are reluctant to lose Lookman in January as new boss Karl Robinson looks to build a side capable of challenging for promotion, but they accept they could cash-in on the England under-20 international and strengthen the squad elsewhere.

Sources have told ESPN FC that Everton are in open dialogue with Charlton over Lookman and they are ready to meet the Addicks' £10 million valuation in order to bring him to Goodison Park.

Peter O'Rourke is ESPN FC's transfer news correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @SportsPeteO.

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