EVERTON face a race against time to get rid of want-away defender Joseph Yobo before the Turkish transfer window closes on Monday.
The Nigeria captain is still desperate to rejoin Fenerbahce – and his stop-start move back to the Istanbul giants could yet go ahead despite the UK deadline passing on Thursday.
Yobo, 30, had been set to depart for a second loan spell with the Super-Lig champions but negotiations were overshadowed by the flurry of activity that eventually saw Mikel Arteta join Arsenal for £10m and the Blues capture Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe and Argentine striker Denis Stracqualursi.
The Toffees would like to further reduce the financial pressure on the club by removing Yobo’s significant salary from their wage bill.
And the player himself risks being in the unfortunate position of being stuck at a club he has said he does not want to play for.
Meanwhile, the ECHO understands David Moyes will be able to spend some of the £10m recouped by the sale of Arteta in the January transfer window.
The Blues boss was powerless to use any of the money on Thursday evening after Arteta’s move to Arsenal was finalised within hours of the deadline closing.
By then Moyes was unable to land any of his targets and was forced to be content with the earlier signings of Drenthe and Stracqualursi.
Drenthe, 24, joined the Toffees on a season-long loan after falling out of the first-team picture at the Bernabeu and spent last season on loan at Hercules.
Now he will wear Arteta’s number 10 shirt, and he is raring to go. He said: “I think that my qualities are English qualities, the way I play football.
“I have technique and I like to work hard. I think this competition is perfect for me.
“The Spanish league was a good league but different. It is not so fast, it is slow. Here it goes fast and I think that is more my style of play.”
Even though his move to Everton was frantic as the club tried to beat the deadline, he is pleased it went through.
“It was on the last day but I am feeling really happy, all my family is happy and I think I can do a really good job at Everton,” he said.
“I think it is a good team and it is good for my future. I am glad to be here.
“They have a really good team and they win important games. It has been a really difficult month for me, training hard with Real Madrid but not playing with the team. That kind of thing is hard for a player.”
Jermaine Beckford and Ayegbeni Yakubu also left Goodison, but Drenthe will at least be joined by 23-year-old Argentinean striker Denis Stracqualursi, who has signed a season-long loan from Tigre.
Stracqualursi said: “I know that Everton has a big history in England and is an important club. I am very excited to be here. It is a big opportunity for me and I will do everything I can to help the team.
“I will fight as hard as I can to get in the team and play well.”
Stracqualursi first became aware of the Blues’ interest in him several months ago and was delighted to see that come to fruition.
“In April some representatives of Everton were in Argentina and watched one of my games,” he said. “That is where the interest started and from there on they were in touch with me.”
“I am a striker who plays in the penalty box. I am good at heading the ball and I am strong but I am also good with my feet. But I am here to score goals.”