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Willie Kirk ready to splash cash on players as Everton eye Champions League qualification

WILLIE KIRK is ready to splash the cash on at least SIX new players in an effort to help Everton grab a Champions League place, according to reports.

The Toffees finished fifth last season, 16 points below Arsenal who leapfrogged Man United to third and a place in the competition next term.

Kirk is ready to spend in order to help the Toffees qualify for the Champions League next season

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Kirk is ready to spend in order to help the Toffees qualify for the Champions League next seasonCredit: Getty

Kirk, who moved to Merseyside from Manchester United in 2018, is keen to lead Everton back into Europe for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

Back then the club reached the competition’s quarter-finals where they were knocked out by German side Duisburg following their 5-2 aggregate victory.

In order to achieve their Euro goal, Kirk, 42, believes Everton will have to get out the chequebook to break Chelsea’s, Man City’s and Arsenal’s top three dominance.

Kirk told the Liverpool Echo: “Inevitably there probably will have to be fees.

“Contracts are as long as they have ever been in the women’s game, so it is not as simple as letting players run down their contract and then signing them.

“Clubs work much more long-term now which means the players we are targeting are not necessarily free transfers.

“So we might have to pay a couple of fees.”

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Everton, whose squad includes the likes of England starlet Sandy MacIver and France ace Valerie Gauvin, reportedly have their eyes on some ‘big signings’.

Willie Kirk is reportedly keen on seeing Jill Scott seal a permanent move to Walton Hall Park

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Willie Kirk is reportedly keen on seeing Jill Scott seal a permanent move to Walton Hall ParkCredit: Alamy

And the Echo claims Man City veteran Jill Scott – who had been on loan at the Toffees – is one new additions officials wish to bring to Walton Park.

Scott, 34, who has 150 senior England caps, joined the Toffees on loan in January, made 11 appearances for the side netting two goals

And Kirk and Everton’s sporting and commercial Sarvar Ismailov hope to bring the influential midfielder to Merseyside permanently

It is thought the Lionesses ace’s experience of playing in Europe could be invaluable to the Toffees.

Kirk said: “Jill has made a huge difference since she’s come in.

“She’s fantastic to have as part of the group and she’s so infectious with her enthusiasm and energy.

“The standard of her training and performances in terms of ball retention and game management will mean she will have a long-term impact on this club.”

Everton are targeting a top three spot after finishing fifth last term

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Everton are targeting a top three spot after finishing fifth last termCredit: PA

Kirk also has high hopes for Toffees keeper Sandy MacIver who is part of a quartet of reserve players included in Hege Riise’s Team GB squad for the Tokyo Olympics.

The England starlet has already tipped her to become one of the world’s best in the future by Kirk.

And the Cheshire-born stopper, 22, also shares her manager’s Champions League qualification dream.

This year the ambitious keeper signed a new contract with Everton which will see her remain with the club until 2023.

MacIver said: “The Champions League is where we want to be. I really believe the foundations are in place to do that.

“I don’t see why we can’t break into that top three or four in the WSL and cement ourselves as a top side in Europe.

Sandy MacIver is confident Everton can break into the WSL's top three

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Sandy MacIver is confident Everton can break into the WSL’s top threeCredit: Alamy

“Willie signing his new contract at the end of last year was a real statement, too, and shows his belief in where the club is going.

“Willie has made it clear of his intent with the players he’s brought in.”

“That was another big reason for me wanting to stay.”

MacIver signed a new deal in March which will see her remain with the Toffees until 2023

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MacIver signed a new deal in March which will see her remain with the Toffees until 2023Credit: Getty
Caroline Weir and Lauren Hemp among WSL aces included in Hege Riise’s Team GB squad

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