EVERTON assistant boss Steve Round has revealed that Nigerian duo Yakubu and Joseph Yobo are unlikely to leave the club before the transfer deadline.
Moyes’ right-hand man insisted both players will be welcomed back into the first team fold despite taking time to recover from their involvement in the World Cup earlier this summer.
West Ham have been linked with a bid for Yakubu, while Scottish giants Celtic were believed to be monitoring Yobo’s availability, but Round insists neither have been told they are surplus to requirements at Goodison.
Instead, the coach said Yobo, 29, is in the squad for tonight’s Carling Cup clash with Huddersfield Town, and Yakubu was in contention for a start until he suffered a knock in training on Monday.
He said: “They came back from the World Cup a little bit later and have taken a bit of time to get fitter again.
“Joe is in the squad and Yak would have been but he picked up a whack in training and is out. They are both in contention and will hopefully play a big part in us having a good season.”
Round added that reports suggesting Moyes would allow Steven Pienaar to join Tottenham Hotspur in a swap deal involving Peter Crouch were false. He said: “There has been no contact. Steven Pienaar is a very, very important player for us. We value him very highly. He was our player of the year last year and he was terrific.
“The manager has said all along that we want him to stay. He has signed with us, he is under contract and as far as we are concerned he will be an Everton player this season.”
Round added that both he and Moyes will continue to run the rule over potential recruits even after the transfer window has closed.
He said: “Recruitment is an ongoing process always. So the window shuts but we will be at the international games to see who we could possibly sign in January, the following year, and you are forever looking.
“Something might break this week but I think the manager is pleased with his squad. I think he is pleased with where he is at. That’s not to say nothing will happen, you never know. Watch the countdown.”
Meanwhile, John Heitinga backed Everton to target Carling Cup glory, and himself to hit the back of the net soon.
He said: “It is the shortest route to a title, so we have to win the game on Wednesday and give everything we have got. We have to show our best and if we do we will win the game.”
There are still tickets available for tonight’s tie. Adult tickets are £12 with juniors half price. Visit evertonfc.com/eticketing, call 0871 663 1878, or visit the box office.