Director of Football Marcel Brands is set for a busy summer, as the Liverpool Echo have claimed Marco Silva is keen to overhaul his entire midfield.
There are only three first-team midfielders whose futures are mostly secured, as the boss is adamant that Tom Davies has a key part to play in his plans for next season.
While there is some doubt over his time at Goodison Park thanks to the on-going transfer speculation, Idrissa Gana Gueye is not said to be one of the men who may not be on Merseyside next season, and neither is Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Instead, it is thought that Nikola Vlasic, Muhamed Besic, James McCarthy and Morgan Schneiderlin could all find themselves looking for a new home now that the transfer window is open.
Andre Gomes and Beni Baningime may also join them, even though the club are determined to do all they can to retain the Barcelona-owned midfielder, despite Tottenham Hotspur becoming an ever-larger thorn in our side.
Academy graduate Baningime also has an uncertain future, and may be sent out on loan again next term if he is not included in the first-team squad.
Either way, if Gomes joins us permanently or not, or Baningime stays for the campaign, Silva is keen to bring “big competition” for the central positions, and will look to add multiple options to replace those who may be moving on.
Thankfully for Brands, he may find he has a transfer war chest £101.7million larger than he begins with – providing he is able to find someone willing to pay the market valuations for our departing stars, and including the £35m Spurs are reportedly ready to pay for Gomes and the £5.2million we spent on his wages, plus the £416k-a-season Baningime earns.
After a reasonably productive campaign out on loan with CSKA Moscow, Vlasic is currently a £16.2million-rated commodity, and selling the Croatian would save the Toffees £3.9million in wages – the attacking midfielder banks £1.3m-a-year on a contract that runs for the next three seasons.
It is not thought that the 21-year-old has much of a chance of returning to Merseyside and finding a place for himself in Silva’s plans, either, with the Echo noting Vlasic is expected to push for a permanent exit instead.
As for Schneiderlin, the £13.5m-rated defensive midfielder – who is set to earn £10.4m from a £5.2m-a-year contract – may have done enough during his end-of-season surprise recall to warrant another season in Royal Blue.