The January transfer window has so far passed in a predictably uneventful manner at Goodison Park.
With no money to complete any incoming transactions, Everton have had to wait patiently for enquiries about their own roster, most of whom David Moyes would be unwilling to part with.
If the Toffees are unable to offload any fringe players, they will presumably look to recruit a couple of loan deals toward the end of the month. However, this lack of activity hasn't stopped gossip columns cramming themselves full of wild speculation throughout January.
Marouane Fellaini is the marquee Everton name featured in most of these stories. The Belgian's supposed buyout clause has seen him linked to most top destinations, fueling a few high-profile players to be highlighted as potential replacements (via Phil McNulty of BBC Sport).
Although it won't stop a continuous flow of rumours, that still seems a more likely saga for the summer.
The more realistic way for Everton to enter the transfer market is if they can first offload a peripheral player such as John Heitinga.
Here's a look at the most recent Everton-related rumours doing the rounds, complete with a gauge of how likely they are to transpire.
The most prominent connection of the past few days is a link to Toulouse's French international, Etienne Capoue (via Steve Goodman of The Daily Star).
Of course, the £10 million quotes are entirely unrealistic in isolation, but these rumours assume the Toffees will first have to sell on Fellaini.
In terms of a fit, it makes sense. Capoue is a young, dynamic, combative midfielder, likely to suit the Premier League style extremely well.
If and when Fellaini does move on, this kind of move seems clever business on paper; however, it would be a surprise if it took place over the next few weeks.
Chances of joining: 2/5
Continuing the replacing-Fellaini trend, Yann M'Vila is another player in the same bracket at Capoue who was recently linked to the Toffees (via Sami Mokbel of The Daily Mail).
The Frenchman's stock has diminished in recent months, but he'd still command a sizable transfer fee—presumably around the £10 million mark.
Along with Capoue, he's a high-calibre player. Positionally excellent, he would augment Everton's passing game whilst adding energy and a physical dimension in the middle.
What makes this rumour slightly less conceivable is the fact he seems on the brink of a move in the next few days.
Even if Fellaini was suddenly bid for, it's unlikely Everton could put together a suitable financial package in time to seal his signature.
Chances of joining: 1/5
James McCarthy is a player who has been linked with the Toffees throughout this window (via Martin Hardy of The Independent).
The Irishman's been in impressive form for Wigan over the past 18 months and seems likely to move on from the DW Stadium, certainly by the summer.
With Darron Gibson so consistently injured, regardless of Fellaini's potential departure, McCarthy would be a welcome addition in the heart of Everton's midfield.
What adds a certain amount of intrigue to this story is Moyes' presence at Wigan yesterday, as reported by local journalist Paul Kendrick of WiganToday.net:
David Moyes is here in the directors box. Interesting because Everton don't play Sunderland til April, and have already played Latics twice.— Paul Kendrick (@PaulKendrickWIG) January 19, 2013
Moyes is renowned for his unerring desire to absorb as many matches as possible, but it's certainly a rumour to track.
Perhaps a January move is unlikely, but he's certainly a feasible target during the next six months.
Chances of joining: 3/5
Mohamed Diame's generous £3.5 million buyout clause (via The Daily Mirror) has seen him take up permanent residence in most gossip columns throughout January.
Naturally, with most Everton speculation surrounding potential new midfielders, he's unsurprisingly found himself linked with a move to Goodison Park as well (via David Kent of The Daily Mail).
Another industrious midfielder, he'd be a useful acquisition who'd slot seamlessly into the Toffees' mantra, and his price doesn't immediately rule him out of Moyes' grasp.
However, the presence of so many other clubs circling above his signature reduces the chance of an Everton move.
Chances of joining: 2/5
A potentially more realistic move—certainly in financial terms—would be for Chesterfield's Tendayi Darikwa, who has apparently been tracked for the past five games by Everton scouts (via Paul Fletcher of BBC Sport).
The 21-year-old striker has been in impressive form in League Two, despite only recently breaking through to the first team.
An interesting twist to his career is his recent transition from right-back to attack—unusual at such an advanced stage of his development.
Given his relative inexperience and positional change, any imminent move seems unlikely. However, he's another prospect Moyes will undoubtedly keep tabs on.
Chances of joining: 2/5