David Moyes plans Everton transfer spree... on the cheap
Published 22:04 19/12/09 By Simon Mullock
David Moyes has been told he will have to rescue Everton’s season on the cheap.
The Blues’ boss will be given no money for New Year reinforcements - even though the club are gripped by an injury crisis that continues to deepen.
Young midfielder Jack Rodwell is the latest name to join a casualty list that includes Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta, Phil Neville, Sylvain Distin, Joseph Yobo, Dan Gosling and Victor Anichebe.
And with Yobo and striker Yakubu heading for the African Cup of Nations later this month, Moyes must plot a route to Premier League safety and the UEFA Cup with a squad that will only be bolstered by free transfer arrivals.
American midfielder Landon Donovan has already been captured on a two-and-a-half-month deal.
And Moyes said: “The financial situation hasn’t changed, but I need to get new players in now.
“I’ve got one in and I’m hoping to bring in another two or three because it has got to the point where I can’t keep waiting for the injured players to return.
“At the start of the season we had 21 outfield players. Maybe four of them were injured and we were expecting to have them all back by August or September.
“The only one that has returned is Yakubu - and he will be off to the African Nations in January - so we need to add to the numbers we’ve got.
“We haven’t made a great deal of progress and, as always happens, you pick up injuries during the course of the season.
“We need at least three or four new faces in ñ but the reality is that they will all have to be loan signings."
Atletico Madrid’s Argentine midfielder Maxi Rodriguez is the latest name on Everton’s radar - but his Spanish club are looking for a fee for a player who is out of contract in the summer.
Moyes, who was forced to reply on a number of academy graduates for the midweek UEFA Cup tie with Bate, added: “I’ve got two or three names I might have a chance of getting, but it won’t be a money deal.
“We’re having a tough time of it at the moment and I wouldn’t want to be relying on our younger players to get us through come the end of the season.
“There is always one or two clubs who want to move people out, but you aren’t going to get their best players on loan in January.
“I’ve got to quell the fans’ expectations about the players that we might be able to bring in.
“I am looking for players that will help us win a couple of games between now and the end of the season.
“I’m working around the clock to see what is available to us ñ especially a centre-half. That is an absolute priority for us."
Everton face high-flying Birmingham at Goodison today - and Moyes revealed that he tried to sign keeper Joe Hart before he moved to Manchester City from Shrewsbury as a teenager.
Hart, who is at St Andrews on a season-long loan from Eastlands, has been in outstanding form for the midlanders.
And Moyes said: “We watched Joe when he was at Shrewsbury and we had an interest in him because their manager at the time was Gary Peters, who is a friend of mine.
“We watched him for a while, but we didn’t take him and he ended up going to Manchester City for £700,000.
“At that time, that was a fee that was beyond us, but he went to City and has done really well for himself.”