Spurs confident of signing Everton midfielder

TOTTENHAM are confident that they have won the battle to sign Everton’s Steven Pienaar, although Toffees boss David Moyes has quashed the club’s shock move for Phil Neville.

Pienaar will be a free agent in the summer and is thought to favour a move to Tottenham, despite interest from Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid.

The 28-year-old could join the Lilywhites for free at the end of the season, but Spurs may tempt the Toffees into an early sale with a �2million bid this month.

Pienaar would be available to play in all three of Tottenham’s competitions in the second half of the season.

Everton have not been involved in Europe this campaign, and the South Africa international was not involved in his side’s FA Cup win over Scunthorpe on Saturday.

However, Moyes insists that the Lilywhites have no hope of also recruiting Neville, who would have provided much-needed competition for Wilson Palacios and Sandro in Spurs’ midfield in the absence of the injured Tom Huddlestone.

“I spoke with Harry Redknapp briefly before the transfer window opened. Daniel Levy and Bill [Kenwright] had an even briefer conversation at our recent game against Spurs and mutually agreed that this would go no further,” said Moyes. “At no time was any offer made - nor would one have been welcomed. Phil Neville is our captain and is an important part of the Everton set-up.”

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That followed comments from Redknapp, who admitted on Tuesday that he was a big admirer of the experienced 33-year-old.

“Phil Neville is a fantastic professional. He is a great player, a great leader but I’m sure David Moyes knows all that,” said the Spurs manager.

“We played them twice recently and he is a real leader for them but I’m sure David Moyes wouldn’t want to lose him, so it will be a difficult one.”