DAVID MOYES has admitted he is powerless to prevent Tim Cahill departing for the Asia Cup next month.
The Everton boss is facing the prospect of losing his top scorer for much of January, as the 31-year-old plays for Australia in the Qatar-based tournament.
And although he is frustrated at the timing of the interruption to his Aussie talisman’s season, Moyes feels his hands have been tied by Fifa.
Until 2006 Australia were part of the Oceanic Group in world football, but Sepp Blatter’s move to switch them into the Asian Football Federation meant the Socceroos would compete in the Asia Cup.
Moyes said: “We sign African players and we accept that they will be away. But when we signed Tim Cahill, Australia were not in Asia’s pool, they were in Oceania. So we didn’t expect to be missing Tim Cahill.
“Tim is massively important for us. He is going to be a really big miss. I cannot do anything about it.”
Meanwhile, Crystal Palace will carefully monitor the situation regarding James Vaughan this week after the Everton striker returned to Finch Farm.
Palace manager George Burley is desperate to bring Vaughan back to the club in January, after a three-month loan spell at Selhurst Park, during which he scored five goals, came to an end after Saturday’s goalless draw against Hull.
The 22-year-old has already admitted he would like to return to south London if he is not in Everton’s plans and Burley hopes he has not seen the last of him in a Palace shirt.
“James Vaughan is going to be badly missed. We were trying to bring in a striker before the deadline last month but we weren’t able to do that,” said the Scot.
“There is a chance we could bring him back in January but that’s between the clubs and James himself. I’ve had a chat with him.”
Vaughan will seek clarification from Everton about his future, but with the Toffees struggling to find the net at present David Moyes is likely to want to give Vaughan a chance over the hectic Christmas period.