Everton manager Rafael Benitez is not concerned his side’s worrying run of form will cause problems with his January recruitment plans or with current players wanting to leave.
Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has been out since late August with a thigh problem, is the latest player to be linked with a move away after Monday’s opponents Arsenal were reported to be considering him a long-term replacement for Alexandre Lacazette.
Speculation has also suggested Tottenham are interested in England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford but Benitez, under pressure after eight matches without victory, insists their form will not affect the composition of his squad.
“If we don’t want to sell players, we don’t need to. If we sell players, it is because we want to sell players,” said the Spaniard, who spent just £1.7million on three players in the summer as financial fair play restrictions continue to bite at Goodison Park.
“I think the players appreciate we are trying to improve and that is what we will do until the end.
“We have been working on January and talking about options.
“Our market is clear: there are players you can get and players you cannot – that’s the reality.
“We need to know these players want to come. In terms of our players, they cannot go if we don’t want (them) to.”
In addition to Benitez being hamstrung by injuries, he is also paying the price for a £500m transfer spend under billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri which has failed to improve the club.
It has left their current manager having to balance the books while trying to squeeze everything out of the threadbare, understrength squad he has been left with.
“I try to concentrate on my job, which is to improve the players we have,” he added.
“Everyone in the business knows the money has been spent but at the moment, we have to be sure we can improve these players.
“I talk about injuries because I want to make people realise we were doing well at the start of the season with the same players.
“The injuries have been a key factor for us. The owner and the board want to spent money and improve the team and the manager.
“Now I think it is really important to stick together, try to do well on the pitch and then go to January and try to improve things if we can.”