Everton are bracing themselves to miss out on Chelsea’s Scott Parker, while Irish star Kevin Kilbane is staying put at Goodison.
Former Goodison Park boss Howard Kendall believes that being in the Champions League next season is sure to aid the club’s chase for new talent.
The Merseysiders also look set to miss out on Mikael Forssell, over whom they have fitness concerns, with Chelsea reluctant to enter into a re-structured deal or loan.
And they now find Parker being hotly pursued by Newcastle.
Newcastle boss Graeme Souness today admitted he is making the signing of Parker his main objective.
The official line from Goodison is that they are still in the hunt for the £6m (€8.9m) man, but the fear is that the player will move elsewhere.
Everton have already signed Tottenham midfielder Simon Davies for their Champions League campaign, which starts with a third qualifying round tie on August 10.
Kendall, however, believes that boss David Moyes will succeed in bring top names to the club in time for next season.
He said: “Playing in a competition like the Champions League is an enormous draw for a player.
“If Everton had not qualified for the Champions League I do not think we would have been looking at the players of the calibre we have been looking at.
“If the likes of Scott Parker have a choice of other clubs in the Premiership, which he probably will have, Everton now have a good chance of getting this type of player.
“And that is not just because of the financial side of it.
“It is because they would be joining a club which has finished high up in the table and which is in the Champions League.”
Everton have finally confirmed which of their out-of contract players have agreed to sign new deals.
Duncan Ferguson, Leon Osman, David Weir and Gary Naysmith have all agreed to new deals.
Ferguson and Weir have reached agreement for one year each, with Naysmith signing for a further three years and Osman staying until 2009 after agreeing a new four-year contract.
The situations regarding skipper Alan Stubbs, Steve Watson and Alessandro Pistone remain unresolved.
Kevin Kilbane, who had the option of extending his current deal by a further 12 months, has opted to sign a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2008.