Home » EPL, Latest » Steven Pienaar agrees personal terms with Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a deal in principle with Steven Pienaar, having beaten off competition from Internazionale and Atlético Madrid with a contract worth £70,000 a week over four years. It is unclear, however, whether they will pay around £2m to Everton this month to push the transfer through or wait until the summer when the South African midfielder would be available as a Bosman free agent.

Everton would be reluctant sellers during this transfer window but the manager, David Moyes, has been told that he must generate funds for the three loan signings he feels he needs to make, with the priority a centre-forward. He will attempt to sign Monaco’s Dieumerci Mbokani having freed up the funds for a £1m loan fee by allowing Yakubu Ayegbeni to join Leicester City. Yakubu will leave on loan with a view to a transfer in the summer.

Pienaar’s contract at Goodison Park expires at the end of the season and he has ignored the club’s offer of fresh terms of £60,000 a week, which has been on the table since the end of the previous campaign. When Everton subsequently agreed terms of £75,000 a week with Mikel Arteta, Pienaar had hoped for parity but such a proposal has not been forthcoming.

Moyes has said he would prefer to keep Pienaar for the remainder of the season, reasoning that forfeiting a transfer fee would be offset by the retention of a key player for the months ahead, particularly as Pienaar has continued to give his all for the club. Neither Moyes nor the Everton support has had reason to reproach Pienaar for his professionalism.

The manager faces a difficult decision, though, because in spite of recent flickers from Louis Saha and Jermaine Beckford, he urgently needs a new striker. Everton have mustered only 23 goals in 21 Premier League matches. Unless Moyes can sign a striker this month who he thinks can improve the team, however, and there is currently no money available for one loan deal at Everton, his resolve to keep the former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund midfielder will harden.

Harry Redknapp has tracked Pienaar for some time and although the Tottenham manager would appear to be well stocked at left midfield, where he has Gareth Bale, he knows that Pienaar can play in a central role and would be a viable alternative to Aaron Lennon on the right.

Redknapp’s move for the 28-year-old ought not to be interpreted as paving the way for Tottenham to cash in on Bale, who is a target for virtually every top club in Europe after his excellent calendar year of 2010. One aspect of Redknapp’s philosophy is that you can never have too many good players. He does see Bale developing in the longer term into a left-back but he and the club have repeatedly stressed that the Welshman is not for sale at any price.

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