What The Papers Say - 03 March

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

While the words of David Moyes tried to play down Everton's disastrous FA Cup exit to Reading, his face told a very different story.

The Goodison boss knows he faces a stark choice as the reality of his current problems are laid bare.

Unless he finds a top-class striker, his side will always be undermined - even if they do have the quality to beat sides like Chelsea.

But to find the £20million or so it will take to recruit the player, or players, he so desperately needs, he will have to sell a member of his current squad.

In all reality, perhaps only two current Everton players would command that sort of fee.

One is Marouane Fellaini, who is now out until the summer with an ankle injury but, when fit, is crucial to the performance of the current team.

The other is Jack Rodwell.

Moyes does not want to sell the teenage midfield prodigy, but with the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid interested in the 19-year-old's immense potential, Rodwell could command a fee well in excess of £20million - just as Wayne Rooney did when he left Goodison.

And while Rodwell has rich promise, he is not yet remotely central to the operation of the Everton team, in the way Fellaini is.

Indeed, Rodwell is still a peripheral player who has yet to prove he will fulfil his massive talent.

Selling him would be devastating, but only to the psychology of the club, not the function of the team.

Indeed, it would raise the funds to take Everton forward - as Rooney's sale to Manchester United did six years ago.

It would be a massive gamble, and an almost nuclear option Moyes would prefer not to employ, but if it gives him the players he needs to turn Everton's own rich promise into tangible results, it may just be the only option.

The Blues' boss attempted to present a measured, calm response to the calamitous home defeat by Championship side Reading, which has extinguished the last hope of honours - and honour - this season, and asks some serious questions about the direction of the club.

But beneath the calm exterior, Moyes was simmering close to boiling point.

His mood was betrayed by his gaze, which had the wide-eyed look of someone close to the edge.

It's little wonder, given the exasperating schizophrenia his side have shown this season.

How can a side that won so magnificently and courageously at Chelsea in the previous round surrender so limply to Reading?

How can a side who outfought the champions - and did a similar number on Manchester United and Arsenal this season - be bossed by a Reading side hardly renowned for their physical approach?

It defies belief, and clearly Moyes was disbelieving last night.

Privately, he suggested he didn't want to say anything he would later regret, but equally, he also seems close to the point of accepting major changes are required to his squad, because they have been given too many second, third and fourth chances this season... and failed to take each one.

"I know there are still situations where we are not good enough to win lots of games, and I know that is not going away, even if there have been signs we are getting better," he said.

"We were short in quality , and that has been evident this season. It is something we have been aware of, and something that has remained even when we have had good results."

Moyes is thinking specifically of the lack of strength or depth in his strike-force. He can get away without a killer in front of goal against sides such as Chelsea, because a different type of game is required.

But when the likes of Reading have come to Goodison and stuck men behind the ball, it has led to frustration as Everton simply don't have the means to break open the wall built in front of them.

Moyes pleaded for a top class-striker in the summer, but the current stark financial situation facing most Premier League clubs ruled that out - and the same will apply this summer.

Which leaves Rodwell as the likely answer to his problems.

YAKUBU wants to make his move to Leicester City permanent if the Foxes clinch promotion to the Premier League.

The Nigerian striker has hit form since making the move to the Midlands in January, with four goals in eight games, and Sven Goran Eriksson is keen to keep him at the Walkers Stadium.

Any full transfer, though, would depend on the finances available to David Moyes. If the Everton boss receives a modest transfer budget, as predicted by chief executive Robert Elstone in January, he will have to weigh up whether to cash in on Yakubu along with other saleable assets on the club’s books.

Eriksson feels winning promotion will be key to Leicester’s prospects of keeping the powerful forward, who he believes would be happy to remain under his tutelage.

He said: “I’m quite sure if we go up that Yakubu will stay, and he wants to.”

Eriksson wants to keep all his loan signings; including former Toffees target Kyle Naughton, Jeffrey Bruma, Ben Mee, and Patrick van Aanholt at Leicester.

He added: “I should like to buy them all as they are very good for the club.

“Firstly, I have to discuss things with the players and then the chairmen of their clubs which is even more difficult. Some have said it will cost us a lot of money to buy them but I already know that.

“We will wait a couple of weeks and then start to see where we are.”

Moyes could be tempted to try and include Leicester’s talented midfielder Andy King in a potential swap.

The 22-year-old has scored 15 goals this season to take the Foxes near to the play-offs.

Leicester are not desperate to sell their top players though, and have the support of wealthy new Thai owners who could insist they simply want to make a cash bid for the Yak.

Everton manager David Moyes has admitted that his team are in a vulnerable position following their FA Cup defeat to Reading this week.

The Merseyside club beat Chelsea on penalties in the previous round but undid their fine work by losing at home to the Championship side. They remain 11th in the Premier League, five points above the relegation zone and have also lost midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Tim Cahill to injury.

"We know we are vulnerable," Moyes said. "You don't get into position if you're not. It has not been the best of seasons, that is for sure."

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