Everton Transfers: Possible Summer Buys for the Toffees
Having been subdued during January, the onus will very much be on Everton's board to hit the summer transfer market firing, especially if the club hopes to extend David Moyes' current deal.
Funds from Leroy Fer's collapsed £8.6 million deal should still be available and can be added to any income generated from the sale of fringe players.
If the Toffees are then forced to part ways with Marouane Fellaini, as many fans envisage, they should at least be able to hand their manager an inflated chequebook to replenish his squad.
Here's a look at a few names who may be on the Toffees' radar come the summer.
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Leroy Fer was so close to becoming an Everton player in January that it makes sense for the club to once again pursue his signature at the end of the season.
Having agreed to a fee, complications arose over his medical state, prompting to Toffees to alter their bid. FC Twente rejected the change and Fer will remain in the Eredivisie through to the summer (via BBC Sport).
In terms of a fit, his dynamic, combative approach would be ideal for David Moyes' side, and he would bring valuable goals, energy and some much-needed physicality to the heart of midfield.
Darron Gibson's injury record and Phil Neville's ageing legs have left the Toffees especially short in the middle of the field, and many fans are frustrated this was not rectified in January.
If Everton do not revisit this deal, another player who could perhaps fill the void could be Etienne Capoue.
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Michael Mancienne is a player many English supporters have a low perception of due to some inconsistent performances for Chelsea, Wolves and England Under-21s.
However, still in his early 20s, he had not yet matured at the centre-back position. He's now in the best form of his career after 18 months at Hamburg.
Given the fact Ryan Shawcross, Steven Caulker and Martin Kelly have all been in recent squads, and given Mancienne's form, he cannot be too far off consideration.
Everton have suffered at centre-back this season, mainly due to the painful inconsistencies of John Heitinga who's been guilty of several embarrassing gaffes.
Entering the final year of his contract, the Toffees will probably be looking to offload the Dutchman and replacing him with a youthful option, such as Mancienne, would make a lot of sense.
Blackburn's Scott Dann could be another option for Moyes to consider.
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For a side that consistently shifts the ball laterally, looking for space to exploit on the flanks, wide midfield is an important position for the Toffees.
At full strength, Everton can deploy Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar in their wider berths and certainly look dangerous enough on paper.
However, Mirallas' injury record has often left the Toffees using Steven Naismith or Victor Anichebe as a makeshift winger, which has distorted the side's overall balance. Therefore, it would be advisable for Moyes to boost his resources out wide.
Scott Sinclair is a talented player currently frittering his career away on Manchester City's bench, seemingly just filling their quota of English players.
If he becomes available in the summer, he's certainly the kind of talent the Toffees would be looking to pursue.
He would give Moyes a valuable alternative on the wing, and considering Mirallas and Pienaar are both competent playing off a front man, he would immediately come into contention to start.
Tom Ince would be another strong option to target out wide.
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Romelu Lukaku is a serious talent, but there are question marks over whether the Belgian international is elite enough to be Chelsea's striker of the future.
Everton are desperately short of options up front, especially with Nikica Jelavic currently misfiring. Adding a player of Lukaku's calibre would instantly augment their options.
There's three ways this could potentially happen.
If Marouane Fellaini departs in the summer, as most predict he will, Chelsea seems to most mooted destination (via Sky Sports). First of all, David Moyes could demand Lukaku arrives as part of any deal.
If that's not possible, Everton could somehow muster the cash to prise him away from Chelsea (probably the least likely scenario). Or, finally, the Toffees could simply acquire him on loan.
Having impressed at West Brom—where's he's just become the youngest foreigner to register 10 Premier League goals in a season—Chelsea may want another season to test Lukaku at a slightly higher level.
Everton will certainly be looking for a new option in attack and if Lukaku becomes a possibility, he should be targeted immediately.
The Toffees made a bid for Alvaro Negredo toward to end of January, and he could perhaps be another option to look at up front (via BBC Sport).
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A final position Everton need to reassess is their goalkeeping reserves.
Tim Howard has endured his least successful season in goal for the Toffees; yet, as has been the case throughout his Everton career, he's not had an understudy capable of even vaguely pushing him.
This has got to change. A young goalkeeper needs to be brought in to challenge the American and have enough potential to one day replace him.
If Everton can at least reach the Europa League next season it would then give this backup a useful opportunity to feature in extra games and stake a claim.
Celtic's Fraser Forster is an impressive prospect in goal who would certainly meet this criteria. Having starred in his side's Champions League endeavours this season, he's already found himself on the cusp of winning a first cap for England.
Taking him from Celtic would be a tough task, but without Rangers in the SPL, Scottish football is hardly the most competitive arena to develop as a player.
If he's too unrealistic, another option here could perhaps be Huddersfield's Alex Smithies.