Revealed: Door opens for Everton to sign 23-yr-old who’s rejected new contract

Everton are still keen to agree a deal with West Ham for defender Ben Johnson, sources have told Football Insider.

The Toffees are looking to bolster their defensive department in the summer and have highlighted the out-of-favour 23-year-old as a top target.

Football Insider broke the news in January that Everton were interested in agreeing a late-window deal for Johnson, and it is understood that they are still in pursuit of the full-back.

The Merseysiders believe Johnson is a top-class operator whose potential availability and ability to play at right-back and left-back makes him an attractive option in the market.

Johnson has held talks with West Ham over a new contract, but negotiations have stalled after he rejected the offer of a long-term deal last year.

His current deal expires in the summer of 2024, and the London club are now open to offers for him this summer to avoid losing him for free in a year’s time.

Johnson has been open to staying at the London Stadium but his camp felt the contract offered by the club in the latest round of negotiations was too low.

The English full-back has spent the entirety of his career with the Hammers, rising through their youth ranks and graduating for the first team in 2018.

He has gone on to make 83 total appearances for West Ham during his five years in the senior ranks.

But Johnson has fallen down David Moyes’ pecking order this season and last made a Premier League appearance at the start of March when West Ham lost 4-0 to Brighton.