Everton may pay the price for failure to reach the Champions League

Clive Rose

Missing out on the top four means Everton may miss out on two of their summer transfer targets.

Swansea striker Wilfried Bony is one of a number of strikers to have been linked with a move to Goodison Park over the past few weeks.

The 25-year-old joined the club from Vitesse  Arnhem for £12million last summer and hit 25 goals in his debut campaign. But it was his ability to hold up the ball, often as a lone striker, and bring others into play that also attracted Roberto Martinez.

Romelu Lukaku thrived in a similar role for Everton this season but with his loan deal from Chelsea now over and his future uncertain, it is only prudent of the club to consider alternatives.

Sadly for Everton, reports suggest Arsenal are now keen on signing Bony as a back-up to Olivier Giroud. Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund have also been named as potential suitors for the Ivory Coast international.

All three clubs have a distinct advantage over Everton - Champions League football.

The same problem applies to any potential move for Manchester City's James Milner. The England midfielder is reportedly keen to quit the Etihad Stadium in search of regular first-team football.

With City's punishment for breaching  Financial Fair Play regulations limiting their transfer spending, departures from the club look inevitable in order to raise transfer funds.

Milner would be a good fit at Everton, he is versatile, hard working and has an eye for a pass. Unfortunately those abilities have also attracted the attention of Arsenal, who are reportedly ready to pay £10million for the former Leeds player.

Champions  League football is a big draw for any player and so Everton will struggle to persuade anyone to join them ahead of a top four side.

The only other incentive that a player will go for is money, but Everton don't have a lot of that either.

It is an issue that is likely to raise its head again and again over the summer but as last season showed, talented players are available if you look hard enough.

Everton will just have to be cute in the transfer market and given his record so far, I have every confidence on Roberto Martinez doing just that,

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