David Moyes resigned to losing Marouane Fellaini if Everton fail to finish in top four

Manager accepts key men will always leave if he cannot win trophies or reach European Cup

Marouane Fellaini has said his piece with regards to his ambitions outside Goodison Park. But, should he want to leave Everton, then David Moyes will refuse to fight to the end to keep him.

With one irresistible shot and then a little back-flick, he had just turned Saturday's game against Sunderland that seemed lost with what Moyes called "his feather feet". However, the Everton manager was circumspect about the prospect of losing him.

Fellaini told the Belgian media last week that "I have seen everything at Everton and in January or at the end of the season I will turn to a new club or a new league." Chelsea head a list of suitors who may be prepared to double the £15m fee Everton paid Standard Liège in 2008.

But it is eight years since Wayne Rooney kicked his last football at Goodison Park and the club not only survived, they qualified for the Champions League the following season. There is, said Moyes, a greater sense of perspective about Everton now.

"I am not in the mood now to keep the fight going all the time because we have had to do this with a lot of players," said Moyes. "But Felli knows what I think and I think that more than anything he'd love to take Everton into the Champions League. But I think I have got to that stage at Everton where I say: 'Look, we have lost some really good players but I don't think it has stopped us progressing as a team.'

"In fact, people might say that Everton have lost good players but they have improved. We sold Joleon Lescott, we sold Mikel Arteta and, though we have felt really down when we lost those players, we have had to pick ourselves up and find others. The club will always be bigger than any player or manager and the players we have brought in are showing that."

What makes Fellaini so attractive is his physical presence, which undid Manchester United in the opening game of the season, but also his versatility. Moyes described him as "an old-fashioned No 8 who likes to get into the box". Against Sunderland on Saturday, he supported the lone striker, Nikica Jelavic, but he can equally fulfil the "Patrick Vieira role", patrolling in front of the back four.

"If you asked me where I think he will develop by the time he is 28 or 29, I'd say he might end up dropping back," said Moyes. "But because he is a threat, can take the ball on his chest and be used direct, he becomes someone who can be used in a lot of ways. He has got size but he has also got feather feet and great ball control.

"I was dead against him going and I am still dead against it. Don't think I am saying that people can come in and take my players but I have to realise that if I have top players and I can't give them trophies, cup finals or European football, I might have to accept what they are thinking."

And yet with Arsenal seizing up and Tottenham hobbled by inconsistencies, the great prize of the Champions League might be closer than Fellaini thinks. Since the competition opened up to clubs that had not actually won their own championship, it has taken an average of 65 points or 1.71 per game to qualify. On 1.82, Everton are ahead of schedule.

Star spotting: Four more beyond big boys

Breda Hangeland

The big Norwegian defender has been through storms of transfer speculation in his time and has come out the other end remaining a Fulham player. Past interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United has been deserved.

Leighton Baines

The England left-back has progressed every year since joining Everton from Wigan in 2007, again gaining interest from a host of top clubs. His speedy, clinical endeavour, along with his professional character, makes him one of the best full-backs in the league.

Youssouf Mulumbu

Signed from PSG in 2009 for only £175,000, Mulumbu has been the linchpin to Steve Clarke's successful campaign so far. The powerful, tireless West Bromwich midfielder has gained interest from Spurs and Liverpool in the past.

Ryan Shawcross

Rumoured to be on Manchester United's radar while his club try to pin him down in contract talks, Shawcross has proved himself to be indispensable to Stoke for five years. The 25-year-old ex-United trainee has yet to earn an England cap, however.

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special
tvNick Frost, Natalie Gumede and Michael Troughton step up
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Beard, Ben Schnetzer, Douglas Booth and Jack Farthing in ‘The Riot Club’
filmReview: Sheer nastiness of Riot Club takes you aback
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week