Johannesburg - Everton announced on Monday they would be out to sign Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar on a more permanent basis as a matter of priority.
This was revealed by Everton manager David Moyes soon after Everton completed a successful English Premier League (EPL) campaign by beating Newcastle United 3-1 on Sunday, finishing ahead of Merseyside rivals Liverpool in the log table.
Pienaar is currently on loan to the Toffees from Tottenham Hotspur, and scored one of the three goals against Newcastle on the last day of the season.
Moyes outlined the club's plans for the 2012/13 season and said that the first order of business would be to secure the transfer of Pienaar from Tottenham Hotspur.
"We now have a potent goal-scoring striker in Nikica Jelavic, around whom the team will be built next season," he said.
"If anything, we need another inventive player in midfield to link up with Pienaar and provide the service Jelavic will require.
"Losing Steven, in the circumstances, would hardly fit in with our planning."
The Bafana captain transferred to Spurs from Everton 18 months ago, but had an unsuccessful stint with the North London club and spent a frustrating first half of the season playing from the bench.
Unhappy with the situation and seeking playing time, Pienaar's management persuaded Spurs to allow him to return to Everton on loan for the remainder of the season, resulting in a return to form for the South African.
However, while Everton have confirmed their desire to sign Pienaar on a more permanent basis, Spurs are yet to negotiate a transfer fee.
Spurs paid Everton R30 million for Pienaar and with the South African captain on a three-year contract with the London outfit, it is expected that a similar amount will be required to secure the player's return.