Everton manager Marco Silva has refused to confirm whether winger Yannick Bolasie still has a future at the club.
Bolasie, 29, joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan in August, but returned to the Blues on Monday after the deal was cancelled.
But Silva, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Millwall, would not say whether Bolasie, who joined Everton from Crystal Palace for £25 million in August 2016, is still in his plans:
“Let’s see what will happen until the end of the [January] market. It was Bolasie’s decision to come back. He had this option in the agreement, and he took that decision.
“Of course, we are here to support him and try to find the best solution for him, and for us as a football club.”
Ahead of Saturday’s trip to The Den, Silva was also asked whether he is tempted to pick Leighton Baines and James McCarthy in his starting line-up, with both players on the periphery this term.
Baines’ appearance against Lincoln City in the FA Cup earlier this month was his first start since October, while McCarthy has not played a minute of competitive football since he suffered a double leg break last January.
Again, the manager gave little away, but refused to rule out the possibility of either player featuring against the Lions:
“It’s one of the possibilities I have, like always. I don’t just look to Leighton because it’s the FA Cup or because it’s another competition.
“Leighton is always ready to play if I take the decision because he’s working hard. He has the quality, also. He has strong competition with Lucas Digne; it’s good for us as a club when we have 2 left-backs like we do at the moment.
“James is more-or-less the same thing. The difference is, because he came from a really bad injury, he didn’t play any minutes this season, but it’s up to me decide what will be the best decision for the match.”
The boss also confirmed that only Phil Jagielka is definitely sidelined by injury this weekend, and will remain out of action for at least another week:
“[He is] not ready yet. It’s possible that he needs one or two more weeks to start training with the squad.
“Apart from that, no big problems; [we had] small problems during the week, but now everyone is OK apart from Jagielka.”