Everton are bracing themselves for a final push from Manchester United for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines as Toffees manager Roberto Martinez bids to tie up a deal for Wigan’s James McCarthy.
• O'Farrell: Cardiff draw highlights Baines' importance
United have spent a significant chunk of the summer trying to secure Belgium midfielder Fellaini and England left-back Baines.
A £12 million bid for Baines was rejected in June, while Everton publicly dismissed a joint £28 million offer for both players on August 19 as “derisory and insulting”.
The Toffees, though, refused to confirm or deny that United returned with a combined offer of £36 million for the duo at the end of last week.
A deal for Fellaini is the more likely one to go through, but sources have told ESPN that both players could yet move to Old Trafford before Monday’s 11pm BST transfer deadline.
Everton, meanwhile, remain in discussions with Wigan over a deal for Ireland midfielder McCarthy.
Latics chairman Dave Whelan confirmed on Sunday that the club has rejected two Everton bids for the 22-year-old.
The two parties have not yet agreed a fee, but it is thought that a deal could be done for around £12.5 million.
Martinez also remains interested in a loan move for Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry.
The 32-year-old is out of favour at the Etihad Stadium, and is keen to make the switch, but would have to take a cut in his reported £90,000-a-week salary.
Everton cannot afford to pay such wages, while City have indicated that they are not willing to subsidise his salary as part of any deal.