EVERTON have stepped up their interest in Burnley defender James Tarkowski, according to reports.

The 29-year-old is out of contract this summer and looks set to leave Turf Moor following the Clarets’ relegation from the Premier League.

Mike Jackson’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat against Newcastle on the final day, while Leeds secured a late win at Brentford to climb out of the bottom three.

The Merseyside club have offered Tarkowski “a lucrative contract”, according to a report by Football Insider.

The report also claims that Newcastle have made the defender “a top target”, while West Ham are also monitoring his situation closely.

Tarkowski joined the Clarets from Brentford back in 2016 and has gone on to make over 200 appearances for the Turf Moor club.

He has twice been capped by England during his time in the North West, having made his international debut in a 1-1 draw with Italy four years ago.

Defensive partner and club captain Ben Mee, who missed the final months of the campaign due to injury, is also out of contract this summer.

Meanwhile, experienced defender Phil Bardsley is set to leave Turf Moor when his deal expires this summer.

The 36-year-old has been linked with a move to League One side Derby to link up with former Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney.

Wife Tanya Bardsley wrote on her Instagram page: “A very emotional day (Sunday), it was our last day there. Just wish it could have ended on a high.

“Thank you to everyone at Burnley, the fans, the staff, the players, the wives… thank you for some amazing years, sad to see this chapter end.”

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