Liverpool have become the latest club to be linked with Everton prodigy Ross Barkley, with the Reds reportedly readying a £38m bid for the 20-year-old, according to the Daily Star.
It’s extremely unlikely the Toffees would allow the hottest shot to emerge from their academy since Wayne Rooney scamper across Stanley Park into the clutches of their favourite worst enemies, but the England international’s departure may be hastened should Roberto Martinez’s men fail to reach the top-four.
Despite currently sitting fourth, the Goodison Park club remain 11/10 outsiders to still be there following the conclusion of game 38, with 7/10-rated Arsenal expected to set the coarse honking of the alarm clock braying to rouse them from joy-laden dreams of the Champions League.
Barkley isn’t the only top Toffee who the bigger boys could be pinching should the Merseysiders finish fifth or worse this season though, with a host of his teammates courted by bigger clubs – here are a few more who Everton may have to replace:
The on-loan Belgian battering ram is allegedly on the shopping lists of almost every elite club in the land and beyond and will almost certainly be playing in the Champions League next season.
Arsenal and Manchester City are keen, while Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid are options based abroad should Chelsea choose to dispense with his services.
David Moyes has been linked with a reunion with the Republic of Ireland flyer this season, who grows in stature by the week.
With six Premier League goals to compliment his defensive capabilities, any fat cat looking for a world-class right-back will be targeting the 25-year-old this summer.
Few would have imagined the impact the former Barnsley trainee would make during his first full campaign at Goodison.
The teenager has been exemplifying a maturity that belies his years filling in for Phil Jagielka at the heart of the Toffees defence, which has convinced Chelsea to join Arsenal in the race for his signature, or so various tabloid sources report.