Everton have lined up a big-money move for Norwich defender Ben Godfrey, but only as a contingency should they miss out on a deal for Chelsea's Fikayo Tomori.
The Toffees have reportedly made an offer worth £26m for the Canaries' centre-back, but are waiting to hear whether Frank Lampard will sanction a loan at Goodison Park for Tomori.
Carlo Ancelotti was believed to have made the 22-year-old his priority signing to reinforce his defence. However, he may now have moved up Lampard's pecking order as a result of Antonio Rudiger's situation.
According to The Telegraph, Everton's negotiations over a loan for Tomori have stalled because the future of out-of-favour Rudiger is up in the air. The Germany international has been left out of each of Lampard's matchday squads since the first game of the season.
Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as the 27-year-old's most likely suitors, although it may only be on loan.
The Blues' head coach is unlikely to allow both Rudiger and Tomori to leave this window, although the latter will be reluctant to play the role of fourth-choice centre-back at Stamford Bridge, behind Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma.
Tomori did start the Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham on Tuesday night, although Chelsea's regular starting partnership is expected to be Zouma alongside the experienced Thiago Silva.
The ambiguity surrounding Tomori's place at Chelsea has led the Toffees to make an offer worth £20m plus £6m in add ons for Godfrey.
While a deal for Tomori would have to be tied up by the Premier League transfer deadline on 5 October, Everton would have until 14 October to seal a move for England Under-21 international Godfrey thanks to the extended deadline between the top flight and the EFL.
Godfrey impressed last season in the Premier League, making 30 appearances as Norwich were relegated back to the Championship at the first time of asking.