Rafael Benitez has revealed that Everton need to sell a number of players this summer in order to meet the Premier League financial fair play requirements for the 2021/22 season.
The Toffees had been on a spending spree in recent years, forking out £526m on new signings between 2016 and 2020 in the hopes of breaking into the top four and the UEFA Champions League
Unfortunately, however, this spending didn't lead to a turn in fortunes for Everton as the club have failed to finish higher than seventh in that period - finishing 12th and 10th in the two most recent seasons.
As such, Everton are under pressure from the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules to cut costs this summer.
Speaking to the press ahead of this weekend's meeting with Southampton, Benitez has stated that he understands the club's need to balance the books (quotes via The Guardian):
"The reality is that we know the financial fair play rules are there and we have to follow them. I know what is the situation and we will try to do our best with the players we have. If we can strengthen our squad we will try to do it. In these circumstances we have to move players on – that is simple to understand."
With the club unable to sign many new faces this summer, Benitez is confident his players and staff have enough to improve upon a disappointing 2020/21 season:
"I know the ambition of the owners, the club and everyone here but the financial fair play rules are there and we have to manage that. I believe I can do it. My staff is quite good and we have experience and we know this group of players can improve. We will try to do that, we will fight from day one and if something is wrong we will fight even harder.
“That is our way to do things and that is how we won trophies everywhere. We will try to be sure we don’t give up at any time even if we lose a game, or two games. We will try to be sure that the next one we are ready and the fans they have to have this conviction, this belief, that we will do it.”