According to East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich Town are in talks with Everton over the permanent transfer of Luke Garbutt in January.
The full-back’s contract with the Toffees is set to expire in the coming summer and he has not made a single appearance for them in over four years. Having joined in 2011 as a teenager, Garbutt has played just 12 matches for Everton with his last appearance coming in the 2014-15 season.
Meanwhile, Garbutt, who is on a season-long loan with League One outfit Ipswich Town, has enjoyed a fruitful spell at Portman Road since arriving last summer.
Despite being a full-back, Garbutt has found the back of the net five times this season and has appeared in 14 games for the Paul Lambert-led side.
The Harrogate-born wing-back has matured into one of the key players under manager Lambert and has helped Ipswich reach second place in the table behind leaders Wycombe.
They are currently just six points short of the table-toppers and are in the reckoning to secure promotion back to the Championship next season. Garbutt, meanwhile, was vocal about his love for Ipswich, claiming that he is enjoying his time with the League One side, the report claims.
All said and done, it seems foolish for the Toffees to still hold on to a player who has been sent out on six loan spells and is yet to carve a name for himself at Goodison Park.
However, with the wing-back doing well with Ipswich, it would be best for both parties if Everton sell their forgotten man.
Also, with Lucas Digne cementing his spot as the Toffees first-choice left-back – and veteran Leighton Baines waiting in line for a chance – it looks unlikely for Garbutt to feature for Everton anytime soon.
With Everton having as many as two full-backs in their ranks already, keeping Garbutt at Goodison Park would just be surplus to Everton’s requirements. Hence, it would be better if the Toffees decide to offload Garbutt permanently.
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