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
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvSpoiler alert: It has been talked about for months
Arts and Entertainment
James Hewitt has firmly denied being Harry’s father
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news
News
Sir James Dyson: 'Students must be inspired to take up the challenge of engineering'
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
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

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?