Everton Women manager Willie Kirk believes four new signings could be completed 'in the next week'.

Everton take on Chelsea in the fifth round of the rescheduled FA Cup on Thursday after finishing fifth in the Women's Super League [WSL] this season.

Kirk brought in seven players last summer - reaching the 2020 FA Cup final - but insists he will continue to be backed by the club and Everton Women sporting and commercial director Sarvar Ismailov.

Kirk told the ECHO last summer he was in constant dialogue with Ismailov - nephew of Alisher Usmanov, business partner and friend of Farhad Moshiri - and would often be discussing transfer plans as late as 11pm over the phone.

The former Manchester United assistant manager joked at his press conference on Tuesday: "That never stops during the year! I've managed to get him down to 9:30pm, 10 o'clock. That's an improvement!

"But we are obviously in regular contact. I've spoken to him every day for the last three days.

"We are well on our way in terms of recruitment. I expect us to probably bring in half-a-dozen.

"There are only a few odds-and-ends to tie up to hopefully get four over the line in the next week."

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Everton received a club record £100k from Lyon for 21-year-old Damaris Egurrola in January after signing the Spaniard the previous summer and it is believed the funds will be used to help Kirk strengthen this summer.

Everton landed prolific French international striker Valerie Gauvin last summer and also re-signed England legend Jill Scott from Manchester City on-loan in January after eight seasons away from Everton.

Kirk is hopeful of keeping Scott next term but admitted Everton could well be forced into spending more in an attempt to gate-crash the WSL top-four next season and qualify for the Champions League.

He said: "I think it depends on the players we are targeting.

"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."

Everton Women also have Hayley Raso, Megan Finnigan, Gabby George, Molly Pike, Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, Maeva Clemaron and Tinja-Riikka Korpela out of contract next month.

Everton have an option to extend the contract of 20-year-old Pike but Kirk revealed most players know where they stand for next term.

He added: "There are a few loose ends to tie up but in the main we are pretty much there in terms of retention and release."