Everton have targeted Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy as a replacement for Marouane Fellaini, according to reports.

The Daily Star claims both Chelsea and Manchester United are eyeing a move for the big-haired Belgian, who has a buy-out clause reported to be in excess of £22 million at Goodison Park.

David Moyes would love to keep the 25-year-old on Merseyside, and has also insisted that he does not have to sell his top players like Fellaini and Leighton Baines – despite the Toffees posting loses of £9million last year.

“There is no pressure to sell (Leighton) Baines or Fellaini, nothing like that. Things can happen quickly, albeit my plans aren’t to sell anybody,” said the manager, according to the paper.

However, The Daily Star claims Moyes has set his sights on the £8million-rated Republic of Ireland international, with McCarthy at the top of the Everton shortlist if Fellaini leaves the club.

L’Equipe reported yesterday that Manchester United were willing to meet a £4million-a-year contract offer that Chelsea were set to put in-front of the player, placing the ball firmly in the court of Fellaini over his next move.

Rafa Benitez isn’t short of powerful midfielders at Stamford Bridge, but the interim manager could use a big signing to relieve the pressure in west London after a string of bad results recently.

Sir Alex Ferguson is relatively light in the position however, and Fellaini would add a different dimension to the Red Devils if he joined the likes of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Anderson at Old Trafford.

The needs of their rivals will be of little interest to Everton though, and Moyes will hope to persuade Fellaini that a top-four challenge with the Toffees should be his priority.

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