Ronald Koeman may have the luxury of a healthy transfer budget this summer but he also faces the agonising battle with Everton’s most wanted stars, as they look to head for pastures new.
Until these transfers reports are confirmed or conversely, put to bed, the new man at the helm will have to sit on his hands, hoping that adequate replacements are still available.
However, with so much money reportedly available to Koeman, the Dutchman may be wise to get started now, to avoid any transfer deadline day calamities or unnecessary panic buys. Unfortunately for Everton fans, it doesn’t look like this will happen.
Here are five players Everton won’t sign, but really should…
Many reports have suggested that Virgil Van Dijk will reunite with his former Southampton boss at Goodison Park, although nothing has yet to materialise.
The Dutchman would be a fantastic addition at Everton, especially considering the defensive issues that the club suffered with last season.
However, Koeman will likely look elsewhere for defensive additions, especially if John Stones leaves. The new boss at Goodison will want a ball playing centre half, something that Virgil Van Dijk is not accustomed to.
Unquestionably the best goalkeeper in the Championship last season, arguably one of the best English goalkeeper sin the professional game and probably the most underrated player in the Burnley team.
Tom Heaton has been a consistent, reliable presence in the sticks for the Clarets for the last three season and with Everton needing to replace the outgoing Tim Howard, Heaton would be worth a gamble.
However, the 30-year-old will desperately want a guarantee of first team football, something that Koeman may not be able to offer after the acquisition of Marten Stekelenburg earlier in the summer.
One of the most exciting players in Serie A for the last few seasons, if Dries Mertens wants to test himself in the Premier League, he may need to force a move sooner rather than later, especially considering he turns 30 early next year.
The Belgian is still lightning quick and can contribute a significant number of goals from midfield. Should Koeman convince Romelu Lukaku to stay at Goodison, Mertens would be the perfect addition to compliant his compatriot.
However, with rumours that Gonzalo Higuain will be leaving Napoli this summer, the Italians are unlikely to allow two of their star players to depart, leaving a move for Mertens improbable.
Despite an underwhelming couple of seasons in the Premier League for Sunderland, Emanuele Giaccherini has impressed while on loan in his native Italy and excelled with the national team at Euro 2016.
The 31-year old is still contracted to Sunderland but the club may be willing to sell for the right price. A creative dynamo, Giaccherini would fit nicely into a Koeman side, who must have the energy and desire to compete at all times, but will likely fancy a return to Italy.
Having risen through the ranks at the famous Barcelona academy, Sergi Samper finally made his breakthrough in the first team last season.
The holding midfielder grew up playing the same team as Gerard Deleufeu and is similarly adept with the ball at his feet, although perhaps in more defensive scenarios.
Samper would be a long term replacement for Gareth Barry, whose waning years are catching up on his talents.
However, such is the demand for home grown quality at the Camp Nou, Barcelona would probably only consider a short term loan as opposed to a permanent transfer.