For pessimistic fans and Everton critics alike, the incredible amounts being spent in the transfer market so far are being thought of as money the club is ‘pre-spending’ from an impending sale of two of the youngest and brightest stars for the Blues in the last few years - Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley.
While other more faithful fans will point out that the Blues free-spending ways this summer are more of a reflection of the new direction that majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri is taking the club in marshalled by Director of Football Steve Walsh and manager Ronald Koeman, it does really appear that the Blues could feasibly still have both players in the squad as the transfer window wears on.
Speaking on the radio this morning, BBC Sport’s Chief Football Writer and reliable Everton source Phil McNulty cleared the air over the Toffees transfer dealings so far.
Far too simplistic to suggest Everton are spending money from potential sale of Romelu Lukaku - no actual appetite to sell Lukaku.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) July 4, 2017
And the likelihood is that if Lukaku does leave there will be further heavy re-investment by Everton. As for Ross Barkley...— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) July 4, 2017
These two statements are strong statements of intent by the Board at Everton about how they see the club going forward into a new era with a brand-new stadium on the Bramley-Moore Docks also part of the team’s near future.
Responding to fan questions on Twitter, McNulty went on to clarify that he thought Everton had no reason to sell Lukaku if their supposed valuation of £100m for the Belgian striker was not met by Chelsea or indeed anyone else.
He wants to go but they won't sell unless they get right offer - they will happily keep him if not. And they would have spent a lot anyway.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) July 4, 2017
Put it this way - no-one is forcing Lukaku out & if he said he wanted to sign a new deal today Everton would be elated.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) July 4, 2017
McNulty didn’t have much to say on the future of Barkley, who was among the players that showed up at USM Finch Farm for the first day of training yesterday.
From the sounds of it though, it does appear that the Barkley camp have overplayed their hand and just like with Lukaku, Everton have no reason to sell unless their rumoured valuation of £50m is met.
Don't know Harry...not sure Ronald Koeman is bothered.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) July 4, 2017
With Barkley entering the last year of his contract, Everton have a little less leverage than with Lukaku, and likely will have to slash the price on him to transfer out this summer or risk letting him walk for free at the end of the 2017-18 season.