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Kevin Mirallas admits he could leave Everton

Belgian winger "ready for new challenge"

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The long goodbye is already well on underway and Kevin Mirallas has just added another chapter by confirming he is considering leaving Everton in the summer.

The 27-year-old kicked off speculation about his future at the start of this year by delaying contract talks and was linked with a move to Tottenham in the January transfer window.

Now in an interview with a Belgian newspaper he revealed his desire to play in the Champions League and maybe try a new country, league and culture.

Mirallas was quoted as saying:

"There have been offers and inquiries, but no real negotiations. January isn’t the ideal month for a transfer.

"I have never said I absolutely want to leave Everton. I like it over here, but I feel ready for a new challenge.

"I dream of playing in the Champions League next season. With Everton or with another club. I just have to see after the season.

"Don’t forget: the 2015 Europa League winners will qualify for the following season’s Champions League. I’ll make a decision after the season. I like the Premier League, but Spain also tempts me. Atlético Madrid have inquired, but there was no offer."

HIs words are bound to send some Everton fans into a rage and may affect the reception he receives from the supporters between now and the rest of the season.

But put yourself in Mirallas' shoes for a second - can you really blame him?

He wants to test himself in Europe's premier competition, as most players do, and I'm sure you will agree that is unlikely to happen at Everton, who have declined markedly this season.

He will have been at the club three years, a team he bears no allegiance to other than them being his employers, and at 27 knows his next move is likely to be his last before he starts to decline as a footballer when hitting 30.

The timing of his comments, just a few days before the Merseyside derby and only a few weeks after 'penalty-gate' is not ideal, and I still question whether he is consistent enough to be a Champions League player.

However, any anger at Mirallas would be misplaced and is better directed at the club for failing to keep up with his ambitions.

He is just the latest in a long line for players who have looked to move on from Goodison Park and while some will never have it so good as on Merseyside, others - like Wayne Rooney and Joleon Lescott - go on to compete at the highest level and win trophies.

For that reason I greet this news with a resigned shrug of the shoulders and the knowledge that until something dramatic changes at the top, Mirallas will not be the last player to seek pastures new in this manner.