Any hopes Everton had of signing Swiss international midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri look to be over as Stoke have agreed a club-record £12million fee with Inter Milan.
Reports earlier this week claimed that Everton were tracking the former Bayern man after they were alerted to Inter's willingness to do a deal - though there have also been claims to the contrary (that's the transfer window for you).
Various Italian media now claim Stoke are beating Everton in race for Xherdan Shaqiri. Can you be beaten to a player you're not in for? #EFC— Richard Buxton (@RichardBuxton_) July 1, 2015
Stoke have also been monitoring the 23-year-old, who turned down a move to the Britannia Stadium in January in order to sign for Inter.
His move to Italy hasn't worked out, making just eight league starts, and it seems Stoke's long-term interest in the former Basel youngster is to pay dividends.
With a deal for Shaqiri seemingly slipping away rumours emerged of another target - Napoli winger Dries Mertens.
Everton have made an enquiry on Belgian winger Dries Mertens (Napoli). Not sure if he’s #EFC’s priority target. Contacts have been confirmed— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) July 1, 2015
The 28-year-old Belgium international began his career at Gent but has played for the likes of Utrecht and PSV before joining Napoli in 2013.
Reports suggest he could be available for as little as £10million, with the Belgian connection at Goodison offering Everton an obvious advantage.
Seems Napoli want £10m or so for the Asda Hazard, Dries Mertens. I don't know much, but I know that's a bargain.— Rory Smith (@RorySmithTimes) June 30, 2015
However, could it be one Belgian in, one Belgian out?
The unsettled Kevin Mirallas continues to be linked with Fenerbahce and Tottenham, despite further rumours he has been offered a new improved contract by Everton.
Losing Mirallas would be an undoubted blow, but at the very least Roberto Martinez appears to be exploring other options should he leave, which is encouraging.