Tim Howard is confident that the club will be able to retain

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard is confident that the club will be able to retain the best players at the club despite interest in several top names. Everton were on a spending spree last summer after bringing in the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry.

It looked like they were on a path towards improvement and potentially challenging for the top four places. However, a poor campaign ended up in Everton being without even the Europa league for the upcoming season. It appears to have cost them immensely in terms of prestige, as a number of top names are being linked with moves to other clubs.

James McCarthy, Kevin Mirallas, and John Stones all have been linked with moves away from Goodison Park. The latter is particularly attracting interest from Chelsea, who have made it £ 20 million offer for him. Even the Everton have rejected this bid, the Premier League champions are not expected to withdraw from their pursuit of their top transfer target. The chance to join a club like Chelsea – who will offer a lot of opportunities to win trophies – will be tough to turn down for Stones. Despite such interest, the 36-year-old goalkeeper says that Everton will retain their big names.

“The chairman and the manager seem very resilient in trying to keep our best players, but with the one caveat – that if they leave then they are replaced with like-for-like quality, or better. So a trend has been set.We can do nothing about last year, it’s been and gone.There were a lot of teams who finished where they wouldn’t want to. It was one of those ‘down’ seasons but there is no good talking about that now. We feel good about this squad, pre-season has been going well,” said the former Manchester United goalkeeper.