Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti believes he can build his ideal squad without breaking the bank.
The Toffees spent just over £60 million to bring Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Ben Godfrey to Goodison Park last summer, also signing James Rodriguez on a free transfer and Robin Olsen on loan.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Ancelotti emphasised the importance of recruiting “the right players” and not having to “invest a big amount of money” to ultimately guide Everton to regular qualification for the Champions League, a competition he’s won twice with AC Milan and once with Real Madrid.
"It will be important, the next transfer window and it will be important the transfer window the year after," said Ancelotti.
A top four finish this season isn’t out of the question, with the Toffees sitting seventh and five points off fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand, but making it back to Europe’s to table immediately is not the be-all and end-all.
Everton last cracked the top four in 2004/05 under David Moyes. While a repeat of that achievement now would see them make the group stage, back then it was only good enough for a spot in the final qualifying round, where they crashed out 4-2 on aggregate to Villareal.
The second leg is painfully remembered by Evertonians for Pierluigi Collina’s controversial decision to disallow a potentially tie-swinging goal from Duncan Ferguson, Ancelotti’s number two.
The Toffees haven’t appeared in the Champions League or European Cup proper since 1970/71, having missed out twice in the 80s due to the ban on English teams from continental competition in the wake of the Heysel disaster.
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