English Premiership

Pienaar's future undecided

2012-04-25 15:17
Steven Pienaar (File)

Johannesburg - Despite finding form since returning to Everton on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, the future of Bafana Bafana captain and midfield kingpin Steven Pienaar remains in the balance.

Pienaar's agent and business manager, Rob Moore, told the kickoff website there had been no discussions at all with Everton or any other club regarding a permanent transfer of the Westbury-born and bred player.

Moore, however, made no bones about concealing the fact that he believed Pienaar's interests would be best served by remaining at Everton "where his style of play is ideally suited and he is highly appreciated."

But a boomeranging return on a permanent basis back to the Merseyside club is not without problems and complications - not least of which concern a transfer fee for any possible deal.

Spurs paid Everton approximately R30m for Pienaar, signing him on a three-year deal at a time when the Bafana captain's contract was approaching finality and he would have become a free agent within a period of six months.

Despite the aura and a renown that extends internationally, Everton are not a wealthy organisation and acquiring Pienaar is not something the Merseyside club can undertake without a degree of caution - despite manager David Moyes making it clear they wanted the diminutive South African to stay on at the club.

It is not even quite as clear-cut as that, though, with Spurs feeling the current market value of Pienaar is a lot higher than R30m because he is on a long-term contract - and they are quite entitled to place a much higher transfer fee on his head.

Ironically and coincidentally, perhaps, because Pienaar was not called up by Harry Redknapp to make a single Premiership start during the present season, Spurs have sunk into an increasing slump since the South African's departure at the end of January.

"There were three clubs keen on signing Steven on a loan deal," Moore told kickoff, "but he wanted to go to Everton because he could fit into the scheme of things there immediately.

"At Stoke or Queens Park Rangers he would have been required to make a fresh start and this could have been more difficult.

"It has undoubtedly proved to be the right decision, with Steven able to demonstrate his talents to the full, while regaining his zest and enthusiasm.

"What is most important to him is that he keeps playing on a continual basis. Playing is what makes him happy."

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