Everton Under-23 manager David Unsworth has told the Liverpool Echo that Muhamed Besic and Matthew Pennington will probably leave during the transfer window.
Both first-team players requested to feature in the Under-23s friendly against Chorley, which the Toffees won 2-0.
Unsworth also said he expected that three other members of his team would depart during the current window.
Besic went out on loan to Middlesbrough last season and was part of Tony Pulis’ team that just missed out on the Championship play-offs.
Pennington is a product of the Everton youth academy and has been on loan several times. Last season he was at Ipswich Town but has also featured for Coventry, Leeds, Tranmere and Walsall.
Speaking after the win over National League North opposition, Unsworth said he expected them both to leave.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “If you look at Morgan Feeney, Matthew Pennington, Muhamed Besic, probably Fraser Hornby and potentially Antony Evans, those five won’t be here.
“Both of those senior players asked to play tonight and that needs to be said because that’s a tremendous attitude for them to have.
“They might not be with us at the start of the season but what they are is great honest lads who want to play for Everton. They showed a great attitude.”
It is perhaps surprising that Besic and Pennington haven’t been hooked up with moves elsewhere just yet.
Besic was a regular for Middlesbrough last season and a promotion-chasing Championship club would relish his presence.
Pennington can operate at central defence or at full-back and his versatility would also make him an asset for a second-tier outfit.
These comments from Unsworth might see the club begin to field some phone calls for the duo.
One thing that has to be said is that they both seem to have their head’s screwed on.
It would have been easy for the pair to pick up their wages and train each day, but both requested to play in last night’s game in order to keep their eye in.