Moyes plays a dangerous game with Pienaar

Everton boss David Moyes has slapped a huge £20 million price tag on Steven Pienaar this summer, but he could risks losing him to a Chelsea or United for nothing next season.

Surely Moyes is taking a bit too much of a chance here? After last season’s damaging transfer saga with Joleon Lescott another potentially long running summer transfer story is something Everton do not need, surely?

The Toffees’ manager is adamant that 28-year-old midfielder will not be allowed to go ‘on the cheap’ just because he is in the last year of his current contract with Everton. Moyes has also said that he is confident the former Ajax player, who is affectionately known as Peanut by the Goodison Park faithful, will sign a new deal. But many fans will worry that this is all talk and no action.

An Everton insider has said: “the manager would rather keep a class player like Pienaar for another year and lose him on a Bosman than let someone take him on the cheap now. If any club wants to buy him, they’d have to start the bidding at £20m to even be considered.”

Everton must be proactive and tie the midfielder down with a new deal before he is due to compete in the World Cup for the hosts South Africa this summer. Heaven forbid that actually he goes and attracts heaps more suitors by having an impressive tournament, although this would make it more likely that they will be willing to meet the club’s asking price.

Moyes’ Toffees have scalped Manchester United and Chelsea this season and were pretty unfortunate to concede an injury time equaliser against Arsenal back in January (a game in which Peanut dinked the ball nicely over Manuel Alumunia’s head). Everton are a side that the bigger sides have feared a little and do not like to play against. Therefore the manager must keep the current squad together and even better it if possible, if they are to break the top four again. You can be sure that the Toffeemen would have been a lot nearer the Champions League places this season had they not given everyone else a head start before they started playing in November (due to injuries of course).

It’s not all down to the club, but the player too and Pienaar must realise that being at Everton under the watchful eye of Moyes is the best place for him. His manager isn’t being touted as a potential replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United for nothing you know. The South African just has to look at Lescott as an example of a player who was outstanding at Everton but hasn’t enjoyed he same for since leaving. The now injured Joleon chased the money signing for Man City last summer and has fallen from grace since leaving Goodison Park. It is not out of the question to suggest that the midfielder may be nothing but a bench warmer at an Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge, why would he want that when he plays every week with the likes of Mikel Arteta, Time Cahill and Louis Saha?

However, money talks and so does promises of silverware, so Moyes is playing a dangerous game with Pienaar perhaps. There is no doubt that the Evertonians trust their chief and will hope for a quick resolution to the situation, but will they be made to sweat over it?

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