By Greg Stobart | Northern Correspondent
Tottenham are confident they have won the race for Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar and will make an audacious £2 million bid in January, Goal.com UK can reveal.
The South African star is out of contract in the summer and has privately indicated he has decided to sign for Spurs and will reject interest from a host of clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy knows he can wait until the summer to sign Pienaar on a free transfer but will make an opening bid of £2m in January to convince Everton to recoup some money on the former Borussia Dortmund man.
Everton manager David Moyes has also admitted that the 28-year-old could be sold in January as he wants funds to re-invest in his squad, particularly to help finance a move for a striker.
But with Pienaar refusing to sign a new contract at Goodison Park and ready to leave for nothing in six months, Tottenham enter negotiations from a position of strength and expect to pay no more than £3m for a January deal.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is pushing the club to sign Pienaar in the New Year rather than in the summer because he is planning to offload midfielders David Bentley and Niko Kranjcar.
Croatian star Kranjcar has been identified by Everton as a potential replacement for Pienaar, who plays mainly as a creative outlet on the left or right of midfield. Any deal for the Toffees to buy Kranjcar – who Spurs value at £7.5m – is likely to be independent of the sale of Pienaar.
“Spurs are certain that they will sign Pienaar and it's just a matter of putting the squeeze on Everton to sell him in January rather than wait until the summer,” a source told Goal.com UK.
“Harry thinks it will be a great bit of business – he says Pienaar is an intelligent midfielder who will slot straight into his squad, can play in a number of positions and provide competition for places.”
Pienaar signed for Everton for around £2m in 2008 after impressing on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund.
He has since become one of the Merseysiders' most influential players and finally fulfilled the potential he showed at Dutch giants Ajax at the start of his career.
Moyes has been full of praise for the South African's attitude despite the contract wrangles behind the scenes, and Redknapp feels Pienaar has the character to slot into his squad alongside the likes of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart.
Redknapp believes he needs two new players to make the Londoners genuine title contenders and has identified £20m-rated Newcastle striker Andy Carroll as his main target for the transfer window.
He has been told that he will first have to raise funds and free up space on the wage bill by selling Bentley, Kranjcar, Giovani dos Santos and Robbie Keane.