When Marouane Fellaini’s release clause expired last week Everton might have hoped that they were well set to keep hold of the Belgian midfielder for another season at least.
However Manchester United’s failure to sign either Cesc Fabregas or Thiago Alcantara has reportedly led to David Moyes returning to his former club for Fellaini, who could still move a deal worth around £24million.
Everton initially set the expiry date on the clause to ensure they would belief with enough time to replace Fellaini if he left, and that will be their chief concern this month if he is to be sold.
Perhaps the most likely player to be targeted will be James McCarthy, with Roberto Martinez demonstrating already this window that he is happy to sign his former Wigan charges.
Arouna Kone, Joel Robles and Antolin Alcaraz have all signed for Everton, but McCarthy was the stand out player for Wigan last season, and it will take a significant bid to convince the Latics to sell the 22-year-old.
Receiving a big fee from Manchester United will help with that, and there is little doubt that McCarthy will be a prime candidate for Everton if Fellaini is sold.
Another midfielder they have been linked with is Juventus’ Luca Marrone, who they had hoped to sign on loan. The Serie A champions will reportedly only consider a permanent move for the 23-year-old, and have set a price-tag of around £8million.
Marrone can also play in defence, and is unlikely to feature in midfield for Juventus next season due to their surfeit of fine players in that position.
Someone who should also be on the radar for Everton is Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue, who has been the subject of interest from Cardiff City, Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid this summer.
The 25-year-old rejected the chance to move to Cardiff, but the Bluebirds bid of around £8million was accepted by the French club, showing Everton the price they would need ot pay.
Capoue was excellent in Ligue 1 last season, and has all the attributes, both physical and technical, to be a tremendous success in the Premier League. He and McCarthy should both be strongly considered should Fellaini leave.
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