Roberto Martinez, always one to dabble with a bit of hyperbole, has tried to soften the blow of Romelu Lukaku’s impending exit by making a bold claim about Everton’s finances.
Lukaku nudged a little further towards the exit door this week with comments from his dad, his agent and the striker himself all talking up a summer departure.
Martinez was inevitably quizzed about those rumours in his news conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Man Utd.
The Spaniard, unsurprisingly, refused to entertain talk of Lukaku’s seemingly impending exit. He did though try to put a positive spin on the transfer saga by highlighting Everton’s newfound financial muscle.
Farhad Moshiri’s arrival at Goodison Park means Everton will belatedly have the resources to compete in the transfer market.
Moshiri is unlikely to sanction a Sheikh Mansour-style spending spree, but the sell-to-buy policy most prevalent in the David Moyes era looks to finally be a thing of the past.
When asked whether the Lukaku rumours were unsettling the squad, Martinez said:
"It’s not unsettling at all because that should be the aspiration of everyone here, wanting to be best you can and be in the best competition.
"We have that at Everton; we want to be competing to win titles. We’ve been in one semi-final, now we’re in another.
We want a good momentum and players need to be part of it. We need ambitious players who can carry our expectations.
"We shouldn’t be afraid about losing players because financially we can compete against anyone in world football. Things have changed radically in that respect.
In the last six windows we have become stronger and have made a more talented squad. That’s what we are going to carry on doing. We will speak about individual situations at the end of the season but we should not fear losing anyone because we can compete financially against anyone. To play for Everton should be an honour and a privilege."
Anything Martinez says always has to be taken with a pinch of salt – don’t forget he is the man who labelled Gareth Barry one of England’s greatest ever players and claims Tom Cleverley is technically the best player in the country.
However, it does seem that Moshiri’s arrival means Everton will be able to go out and spend significantly in the transfer market.
We would all love for Lukaku to remain at Everton this summer but we all know the reality of the situation.
A fee in the region of £50-60m would ease the pain and allied with Moshiri’s funding there’s no reason why we can’t bring in three or four world-class players to ensure we begin next season with a stronger side even without Rom.