Everton will trim their squad ahead of next season to facilitate the arrival of "top quality" players who can help them qualify for Europe, the Premier League club's manager Sam Allardyce has said.
Everton recruited heavily this season, spending over 140 million pounds in the summer and about 47 million pounds in January but even those huge sums were unable to see them earn a place in Europe.
"There's a huge amount of players at the club already and one of the greatest challenges will be what players are going to leave," Allardyce told radio station TalkSport.
"We have 14 players out on loan and we have a squad of about 38. There's going to have to be ins and outs. You can't continue to bring players in without moving some out."
A poor start to the campaign led to the sacking of manager Ronald Koeman in October and Allardyce tasked with getting the Merseyside club out of the bottom half of the table.
Everton have become tough to beat under Allardyce though some fans have been unhappy with the quality of football on display.
"There's a growing expectation for Everton to compete more and more into the European places ... the top quality player is the only player that we should be looking at," added Allardyce.
"If that's only one or two that'll make a massive difference next season."
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)