Athletic Bilbao fear that centre-back and former Everton target Unai Nunez is ‘almost certain’ to leave the club this month, according to El Gol Digital.

Everton were first linked with Nunez in October, when Football Insider claimed that the Spaniard had made the Toffees’ wish list ahead of the January transfer window.

That speculation quickly went cold however, with Bayern Munich (Goal) and Arsenal (Mail Online) both registering their interest in the 22-year old.

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Nunez has slipped down the pecking order with the Basque club this season, with Inigo Martinez and Yeray preferred to start in central defence for Bilbao.

Now El Gol Digital report that Bilbao are ‘almost certain’ that Nunez will look to leave San Mames before the transfer window closes, citing Manchester City as the most likely destination.

While the report doesn’t specifically mention Everton, it is known that the Toffees are on the hunt for a central defender this month, and they may yet consider Nunez’s £25million release clause to be a snip in this market.

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Having only played seven times in La Liga this season (Transfermarkt), it stands to reason that Nunez could look to move away from Bilbao in search of regular league football this month.

Nunez’s average league rating of 6.81 (WhoScored) is higher than that of Michael Keane, Mason Holgate and Yerry Mina, although Nunez’s smaller sample size of games must be taken into account, with Everton’s defensive trio all playing more than 15 times in the Premier League this season.

The Toffees’ biggest problem, should they decide they want to move in for Nunez, will be fending off the interest of the likes of Bayern Munich, who would certainly have more pulling power than the Merseyside outfit.

As Everton need a fourth centre-back option, Nunez would represent a wise acquisition given his age and going off his WhoScored rating, although I wouldn’t place money on the club landing the Spaniard.

Would Unai Nunez be a good signing for Everton?