Marco Silva is eying a quick-fire sale of five Everton players in order to raise funds for a pursuit of Danny Welbeck and Atletico Madrid right-back Santiago Arias, according to The Times as cited by the Daily Star.
Welbeck is still a free agent following his release by Arsenal at the end of June when his £125,000-a-week contract in North London expired, despite the England winger attracting the interest of numerous Premier League and European sides.
Everton were thought to have moved ahead in the race for the forward’s signature toward the end of May, when reports emerged suggesting the Blues board offered Welbeck more than £100,000-a-week to move to Merseyside.
However, little progress has been made since those claims, and the winger-come-striker has continued to search for a new side following his return to fitness from a season-ending ankle injury sustained in November.
Silva is still understood to be keen on bringing the Manchester United product to Goodison Park ahead of the new campaign, though, as he feels we currently have a lack of firepower at the top of the pitch.
The Portuguese head coach also feels defensive reinforcements are necessary, and is interested in bringing Arias to the club after Atletico Madrid acquired Kieran Trippier from Tottenham Hotspur.
We have been linked with the Colombian before, and Marcel Brands had attempted to sign the right-back upon his arrival last summer, but Arias preferred to leave PSV Eindhoven for the Spanish capital in a move which has now backfired.
Atleti would likely still demand a substantial fee for the 27-year-old, and reports of our interest earlier in the year suggested a €40million (£35.9m) offer would be necessary.
If the La Liga outfit were to demand such a figure, along with taking on his £35,619-a-week contract and Welbeck’s £100,000-plus, Silva’s believed plans to cash in on five players would be more than essential.
Director of Football Brands is not planning on green lighting a mass overhaul of the squad with the summer deadline approaching, but has given the okay to a quick-fire sale of Cenk Tosun, Yannick Bolasie, James McCarthy, Kevin Mirallas and Oumar Niasse.
Tosun is widely reported to have a £20million asking price, while Bolasie is thought to be on the market for £10million. Likewise, McCarthy may also be let go for £10million, while Mirallas and Niasse’s valuations are yet to be reported.