Roberto Martinez will spend the majority of transfer deadline day trying to coerce former employers Wigan to allow another of their prize assets to follow him to Everton.
The Spaniard hopes the Scottish-born Irish playmaker James McCarthy, 22, will make the short journey from the DW Stadium to Goodison Park after Arouna Kone, Joel Robles and Antolin Alcaraz all made the switch earlier in the summer.
The Toffees are available at 18/1 to finish in the Premier League’s top four with bwin, but their amped up interest in McCarthy could have some negative ramifications for this price.
Wigan will only reportedly sell up for an inflated fee around the £14m mark and, as this clearly doesn’t represent value for money, it would be fair to assume the only reason Everton are considering such a hefty eleventh hour outlay is that they are about to receive an even larger sum for Belgian star Marouane Fellaini.
Manchester United – 7/2 to win the Premier League – have courted the comically coiffed goal-scoring midfielder all summer and their loss to local rivals Liverpool has put further pressure on David Moyes to land a marquee signing.
A figure somewhere around the £25m mark would be required to reunite Moyes and Fellaini and, with the player allegedly keen on making the move to Old Trafford all that remains is for the Merseysiders to drive the price up as high as the market can bear.
Reinvesting considerably more than half of the rumoured Fellaini windfall, who notched 11 in the league last term, in a player whose game is more focussed around ball retention and picking passes, however, feels like a bit of a downgrade.
McCarthy only scored three goals in 38 league games last season.
Having left it so late to move Fellaini on though, the club have left themselves short of time to source a fitting replacement and are now considering an expensive move for McCarthy, a player who isn’t going to be anywhere near as effective as the outbound Belgian.