So we are at that time of year when all and sundry is being linked to the Blues. Every day a new full-back, striker and exciting winger becomes the latest Toffees’ target, while Riquelme is set to become the record holder of most-linked player to one club to have never actually signed.
Neither will be an easy task, with the latter of particular interest/concern as a number of players still on big money (not mentioning any names Sandro) but clearly not in the plans of Messrs’ Brands and Silva, will potentially find new clubs hard to come by with their high salaries.
I still fully expect a big clearout regardless, with names such as Martina, Williams, Besic, Bolasie, Walcott, the aforementioned Sandro, plus a number of others all surplus to requirements.
One name who seems to have jumped out of the get lost basket into the possibly have a future pile is Morgan Schneiderlin. The French midfielder, signed in 2017 from Manchester United, initially arrived with a lot of hope and promise and, early on at least, looked like the midfield maestro we had been crying out for.
Changes in managers, styles and ethos has seen the 29-year-old start less than 60 games for Everton, in what has been an underwhelming career for a man who many expected more from.
What I find most worrying about the former Southampton man is something that never seems to change; attitude.
A talented footballer no doubt, but one who seems to come to life when there is nothing or very little to play for from a team perspective, but a personal gain (a summer move anyone) is very much on the agenda.
Arguably man-of-the-match against Burnley with an excellent display capped off a few very good performances from Schneiderlin, who filled in admirably for crowd favourite Andre Gomes.
But with European football a fading dream (killed off the Fulham debacle which Schneiderlin can’t be blamed for as he didn’t play) and a top-half finish never really in doubt, would any Blues be considered cynical that form seems to coincide more with the shop window getting ever closer to opening rather than team goals?
The staticians amongst us may provide a different insight, but I see the Frenchman as someone who, if Everton can offload, then they should.
The talent is there, without question, but Everton will be facing the uphill battle next campaign of trying to break that top six, while giving the ever-loyal faithful a cup run to get excited about beyond the opening rounds.
Don’t get me wrong, Schneiderlin is by no means alone in going missing and lacking in spirit. Much has been documented about the importance, and lack, of leadership, within the squad. Too many nice guys that seem to struggle to obtain the killer instinct of players past.
With this in mind, if a suitable offer can be found for a player with undoubted ability but questionable application, my thoughts would be take it and ease the wage bill.
Like most things facing us Blues though, it will be easier said than done.