EARS will have pricked up at Wanderers when rumours emerged Everton were lining up a move to sign Leeds left-back Tom Pearce.

Antonee Robinson’s parent club are rumoured to be showing interest in the Yorkshire side’s 20-year-old, a former Everton trainee.

Ormskirk-born Pearce, who left Goodison’s academy to join Leeds in 2014, is out of contract this summer. Though currently in Provence with England’s under-21s for the Toulon Tournament, reports suggest he has agreed a new deal at Elland Road.

Meanwhile, ‘Jedi’ made 34 league and cup appearances for Phil Parkinson’s side last season, impressing team-mates, coaching staff and supporters.

His form also alerted the USA national team, who called him up for the senior squad.

Robinson has already appeared for the u18 and u20 teams but did not feature in the game against Paraguay in March.

Robinson made no secret of his desire to impress the Everton hierarchy while helping the Whites stave off the threat of relegation but the club’s pursuit of Pearce – a similar player in terms of style, age and experience – suggests they do not feel he is ready to play regular first-team football in the Premier League.

And that could pave the way for Parkinson, who heaped praise on Robinson more than once last term, to engineer a return to the Macron for the all-action youngster.

“David [Unsworth, then Everton caretaker boss] rates him very highly,” Parkinson told The Bolton News in November. “He has been a key figure in his development and with all the changes at Everton, I’m sure they are keeping a very close eye on him.

“Antonee is a real character. He doesn’t give in. And that kind of attitude can take you places.

“He offers us something extra in the team because he’s so dynamic going forward.

“The modern-day full-back covers 1,100 metres at high intensity – we’ll we’ve got our own one in Antonee, who can cover that kind of distance no problem.”

Meanwhile, the club is yet to announce which out-of-contract players are to be offered new deals.