Pienaar swap rumour doused
Johannesburg - Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story is often the byword of the English tabloid newspapers.
So when reports circulated in two English newspapers on Tuesday that a swap between Tottenham Hotspur's English international striker, Peter Crouch, and Bafana Bafana's Everton-based Steven Pienaar was imminent, it came as no great surprise when the Merseyside club poured cold water on the deal.
Everton assistant manager, Steve Round, is quoted on the club's website claiming there was no truth to the pending swap. "No, none at all." he declared with an air of finality.
"Pienaar is a very important player for us," added Round. "We value him very highly. He is under contract for another year and as far as we are concerned he will be an Everton player this season."
Yet despite this emphatic declaration, there is evidence that Everton are becoming increasingly frustrated and impatient over Pienaar's refusal to sign an extended contract that would keep him at the club for an extended period.
Should Pienaar stay put for another season and then depart on a free transfer, Everton would find themselves in the invidious position between the devil and the blue sea of losing the player and receiving no compensation in the process.
Pienaar is reportedly valued at several million pounds on the inflated English transfer market and Everton might ultimately decide to cut their losses if the scheming midfielder and his financial advisors do not see fit to signing an extended contract.
So despite the assertion of not letting the facts get in the way of a good story, there could still be a measure of truth to the tabloids disclosure in the end.