Everton boss David Moyes has admitted he could struggle to convince out-of-contract players to stay at Goodison Park at the end of the season.
The Toffees, who finished eighth in the Premier League last season, have endured a disappointing campaign so far and are down in 15th in the table.
Everton failed to strengthen their resources last month, despite the exit of Steven Pienaar and the loan departures of Yakubu and James Vaughan.
They will offer a number of players new deals in the summer, with influential midfielder Marouane Fellaini among those who will be asked to stay.
Moyes admits he needs to offer members of his squad "some hope and encouragement over what we are going to do" if the club wants to keep them.
The Scot says he will seek talks with chairman Bill Kenwright and the Everton board over the club's future plans as he looks to keep his squad together.
"It is a problem and something I will need to have a chat with the chairman and the board about as we go towards the end of the season," said Moyes.
"You have to show the players around you that you are trying to move forward."