Former Everton forward Graeme Sharp believes that finishing fourth is a must for the Toffees if they have to sign Romelu Lukaku next summer. The Merseyside club are currently fifth in the league, one point behind the Gunners and need Arsenal to drop points to make it to Europe.
The striker is out of favour with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and is likely to make his way out of Stamford Bridge in the summer.
The Belgian has been in brilliant form for Roberto Martinez's side in the current season but is likely to continue his stay at the club only if the Toffees can achieve Champions League football.
Everton were favourites to take the fourth spot after their 3-0 win over Arsenal at Goodison Park but losing against Crystal Palace has tilted the plates back in Arsenal's favour. The Toffees have a tough run ahead, having to play the two Manchester clubs, Southampton and Hull City before the end of the season.
On the contrary, Arsenal have an easier run-in, with the Gunners set to play Norwich, Hull City, Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion in their remaining fixtures.
Lukaku had previously hinted his interest to play in the Champions League and a good performance through to the end of the season is likely to pay dividends for Martinez in the long run.
"The Lukaku situation will take care of itself. He's said he wants to play in the Champions League. Now if Everton don't get in that fourth spot, that answers its own question there," Sharp told talkSPORT.
"Where does he get Champions League football from though? I don't think Chelsea will take him back to be honest.
"I honestly don't believe Jose Mourinho fancies Lukaku, I think if he can sell him and bring somebody else in, he will do.
"But he wants the best price for Lukaku and in the last couple years he's got a great goalscoring record with West Brom and Everton as well, so the price goes up.
"I don't know what the transfer budget at Everton is and what Roberto Martinez has got to spend in the summer but if he loses [Gareth] Barry and [Gerard] Deulofeu, I don't know whether he can afford to spend it all on a centre-forward," he concluded.