Everton are poised to breach the Premier League's top four on their own merits, according to manager Roberto Martinez.
Despite speculation Manchester City could lose their UEFA Champions League spot due to breaking the Financial Fair Play rules, Martinez said his side would not wait for their ticket in - as they planned their assault for next season.
"There is a feeling in the squad we are ready to get into the top-four places, which is very important," Martinez said.
"At the beginning of this season, it is fair to say we didn't know if we could compete for those places.
"Even though we have just missed out on the top four, there is a real feeling, if we work well and push ourselves, we can have a proper challenge for it next season."
On challenging the likes of the cashed-up City and other big-spending clubs in the top four, Martinez said it was possible to reel them in without matching them in the financial department.
"I don't buy into the idea we can't compete against City because we don't have the same money – there are other ways we can compete and you need to find them," he said.
"I believe we can do it through producing our own young players and offering them a better opportunity in the first team.
"If someone can afford an extra £100million, then well done to them."
Martinez went further, claiming it was good for football when Premier League clubs get significant financial backing.
"I really enjoyed it a few years back when clubs came up with a big investor and it gave them the opportunity to fight for the title. We saw it with Chelsea," he said.
"That's healthy for the game. I'm always open to investors coming in."
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