Australian-born Everton defender Gethin Jones is set to leave Goodison Park for League One side Fleetwood Town, in a bid to enhance his club and international career.
By
Dave Lewis

4 Jan 2018 - 10:08 AM  UPDATED 4 Jan 2018 - 10:08 AM

The 22-year-old right-back remains eligible for the Socceroos, despite being called into the Wales squad for last June's FIFA World Cup qualifier against Serbia.

Having captained the Dragons from under-16 to under-21 levels, his allegiance leans heavily with land of his parents.

But while still uncapped at senior level by Wales boss Chris Coleman, a Socceroos call-up remains a possibility within FIFA eligibility rules.

Jones was approached by former Olyroos coach Josep Gombau just over a year ago, but stated at the time he felt "more Welsh than Australian", and declined an invitation to join an Australian development camp in Europe last March. 

An approach from Ange Postecoglou's yet-to-be appointed replacement ahead of this year's World Cup to fill a problem position for the national team might severely test his loyalty to Wales, who have not qualified for June's showpiece event in Russia.

A part of Everton's youth system since the age of 12, the fluent Welsh-speaker made his single appearance for the Toffees off the bench against Russian side Krasnodar in the Europa League back in 2014.

Everton rookie Jones puts Wales ahead of Australia
A charm offensive aimed at luring Perth-born Everton defender Gethin Jones into the Socceroos fold has fallen on deaf ears with the youngster committing his future to Wales.

Reports in England say Everton and Fleetwood are in "advanced talks" over an imminent switch for the player who is out of contract in Merseyside at the end of the season.

His family moved from Perth to England when he was aged four, and Jones has been on the Green and Gold radar for several years.

He made 17 appearances for Championship side Barnsley in the second half of last season, and has just returned from a two-month injury lay-off for Everton's under-23s.

He is deemed expendable on Merseyside, with the emergence of Jonjoe Kenny this season ramping up competition for the right-back spot.

Fleetwood, based in England's north-west and coached by former German international Uwe Rosler, sit 12th on the League One ladder and entertain Leicester City in the FA Cup third round this weekend.