Everton believe they would need special dispensation from the Premier League in order for Lewis Gibson to ease the squad's defensive headache.

The Blues are dealing with an injury problem at centre-half following the news that Yerry Mina faces 'several' weeks on the sidelines after suffering a partial tear of his left quad.

Mina's set-back leaves manager Carlo Ancelotti with only two fit senior players in that position - Mason Holgate and Michael Keane - ahead of the Premier League resuming on June 20, when the Blues face Liverpool.

Gibson is fourth in Everton's pecking order at centre-half but was on loan with Fleetwood Town until the end of May and would not be allowed to switch clubs again until the opening of the next transfer window.

Fleetwood, the ECHO has learnt, have also made the request to extend Gibson's loan and are hopeful that the Blues will agree.

A vote on Monday of League One clubs will determine how, or if, their season finishes but the ECHO understands Fleetwood's hope, for now, is to keep Gibson until June 30.

Mina is expected to still be out injured into July but Everton believe that under current rules, the Premier League would have to agree to a specific reason in order to grant the club permission to field Gibson.

But at tomorrow's meeting of the 20 clubs, it is understood that the prospect of clubs being able to re-register players from July 1 will be discussed and a vote in favour of such a move could work to the Blues' advantage in this case.

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Teenager defender Jarrad Branthwaite, signed from Carlisle United in January, has been training with the first-team squad since they returned to Finch Farm last month and would be the next in line to fill in, if Gibson were not able to play.

But it's unclear if Ancelotti feels he is ready to be included in a Premier League squad.