By Alex Labidou
Everton will cope if Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines leave to join Manchester United, according to Toffees goalkeeper Tim Howard.
David Moyes’ appointment as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford has led to immediate speculation he might be tempted to take Fellaini and Baines with him.
But Howard insists any high-profile departures will be at a price of Everton’s choosing and one which allows them to properly replace the talent that they lose.
“It's up to the [new] manager first and foremost,” Howard told Goal. “If one of our top players goes out the door, we are going to get a whole lot of money for him. We can take that money and buy some other quality players.
“Yes [I'm committed to Everton long-term]. We have a quality nucleus of players and there isn't going to be a mass exodus of players leaving, I can assure you of that.
“Our chairman is excellent and he will get top dollar for whoever leaves.”
The news of Ferguson’s retirement has dominated the headlines this week but, while he admits the timing was unexpected, Howard insists the Scot’s decision did not surprise him.
“Everyone was shocked because up until then everything was quiet and there was no big build-up, but I'm not that surprised,” he added.
“He's had so many years of success and he's getting older. For a guy who's had that much success, it's never a good time to bow out.
“The next success is always around the corner. So there's never a good time or an easy time.”
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