By Noel Whelan

15th Oct, 2021 | 7:00pm

Brands tipped to seal pre-contract January signing after Everton source's update - pundit

Noel Whelan has tipped Everton to strike one or more pre-contract deals in January due to their limited transfer budget.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted it would be difficult for the Toffees to find value from new signings in the winter window.

As revealed by Football Insider (9th October), Everton will have to work under a strict budget in January due to the league’s profit and sustainability rules.

A Toffees source told this site manager Rafael Benitez and director of football Marcel Brands will target loans and potential free transfers as a result.

The departure of James Rodriguez and his £250,000-a-week wages, which will effectively save the club £9million this season, has given Everton some room for manoeuvre.

However, Whelan suggested the Merseyside outfit could look to agree pre-contract terms with overseas players ahead of next summer.

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“I think it’s a tough window,” Whelan told Football Insider deputy editor Russell Edge.

“You ask any manager or chairman to bring in players in January without pain over the odds, it’s difficult. It’s not an easy one, it really isn’t.

“I think the best way you can go about is players abroad looking to sign pre-contracts for the following season. That’s possibly the way forward.

“I think it also depends on how your team is playing. Have you got enough squad depth? Have you got injuries that are recovering and coming back into the side, which would make it like a new signing?

“It all depends but I don’t think you need to rush and panic buy in January. That’s the big key here. Consolidate your money, use it wisely, have a look for starting next season.

“If there is something out there, absolutely, you’d be a fool not to go for it. To bring a player in that could be a difference between 10th and 7th, you’ve got to.

“You’ve got to do things the right way, it’s not an easy window. People will hold you to ransom when it comes to money and players.

“But there are deals to be done out there, no doubt about that.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has tipped Moshiri and Usmanov to snub £1bn offer at Everton after talks update.