The Toffees were left frustrated by their inability to snare their main targets in the summer and the problem could repeat itself in the New Year.
The Dutch international winger has long been linked with a potential move away from Old Trafford just a year and a half from joining as a marquee signing from PSV Eindhoven, with Serie A side Roma reportedly top of his list of suitors.
However, Everton have also been heavily linked with signing a player who exploded onto the scene at the 2014 World Cup, especially after Toffees manager Ronald Koeman claimed in quotes reported by Sky Sports that he would be interested in pursuing a deal for a player who has played just 20 minutes of Premier League action under Jose Mourinho this season.
However, as claimed by Tuttomercato web, and reported by Football Oranje, the Italians have shown their hand first, with new sporting director Frederic Massara making official contact with the Premier League giants over a potential loan deal in January with a view to a permanent transfer for £21 million.
Consequently, Everton face being left behind once again in their pursuit for new signings, with the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Perez and Axel Witsel all turning down the chance to move to Goodison Park in the summer.
Furthermore, Tuttomercatoweb also claims that the Toffees are facing ominous opposition in their attempts to sign Lyon forward Rachid Ghezzal, with Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid ready to make a move due to doubts about summer arrival Nico Gaitan.
Therefore, this is the time for director of football Steve Walsh to step up and display the shrewd negotiating skills made famous by his time as chief scout for Leicester City, especially with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri reportedly unimpressed by his transfer activing in the summer.
More frustration in the market may only serve to stall Everton's ambition and reinforce the notion that they have fallen well behind the likes of Tottenham, even West Ham, in the pursuit of big name players.