Everton could be forced to sell one of Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison this summer to help ease their financial difficulties and as part of a wider summer overhaul, 90min understands.
The Toffees finally secured their Premier League safety on Thursday night, coming from 2-0 down to beat Crystal Palace 3-2 in dramatic fashion at Goodison Park.
But plans have long been underway to restructure Everton's expensively assembled playing squad, with years of heavy spending and funding a new stadium leading the club into a tough spot when it comes to Financial Fair Play rules.
Across the past three years, the club have posted losses of over £372m, way in excess of the Premier League's £105m limit over that period.
Everton are taking advantage of the 'add-backs' allowed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including offsetting infrastructure costs, women's football expenditure, Covid losses for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons and youth development costs. But even then, the Toffees still need to find more funds.
90min can confirm that relegation rivals Burnley and Leeds are considering bringing a potential claim against the Premier League and Everton over their financial misgivings.
“We have worked closely with the Premier League to make sure we are compliant. We are comfortable we have complied with the rules," Everton responded (via Alan Myers). “External auditors have told us what we can and cannot claim against the pandemic. If clubs want to take legal action that’s their decision."
Even so, Everton now face the harsh reality of having to sell at least one of their star players this summer in order to balance the books. Juventus' obligation to buy Moise Kean will help, but the Toffees still need to raise more funds.
Forwards Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are garnering plenty of attention from other Premier League and European clubs. Multiple sources have confirmed to 90min that Everton are resigned to losing at least one of the duo but that the club wish to avoid selling both.
It's understood that Everton are more open to the prospect of selling Calvert-Lewin, who scored the decisive winning goal on Thursday but has spent much of the 2021/22 season sidelined with injury.
Richarlison's versatility and work rate have made him an immensely popular figure among supporters and his late-season form has been one of the catalysts to keeping the club in the Premier League. 90min are told that while the Brazil international's representatives are searching for a move and the interest is there, Everton would much prefer to keep him over Calvert-Lewin.
There are a number of other players in Everton's wider squad that the club are actively trying to move on or willing to sell in order to reduce their wage bill and raise transfer funds, providing squad depth is managed and suitable replacements can be found.
According to sources, these include defender Michael Keane, midfielders Andre Gomes, Tom Davies, Allan and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, and forwards Salomon Rondon and Andros Townsend.
Cenk Tosun, Fabian Delph and Jonjoe Kenny's contracts are expiring this summer and it's understood the club are considering letting the trio go.