DAVID MOYES admits Everton’s transfer deadline day hopes are on a knife-edge after the collapse of their £8.6m bid to sign Dutch midfielder Leroy Fer.
The Blues boss was comforted by a bright first half performance from his side at Goodison last night which helped them to a nervy 2-1 win over West Brom. But he knows that strengthening his squad before 11pm tonight could prove difficult.
Victory over the Baggies helped Everton close the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham to just one point, and Moyes will redouble his efforts to further boost his Champions Leagues hopes with new recruits today – even if missing out on Netherlands international Fer, whose move collapsed after talks with FC Twente broke-down yesterday, cost him valuable time.
The Everton boss, who is busily pursuing other midfield reinforcements and cover at right-back, said: “It’s very, very late and I don’t know if we’ll be doing anything.
“It was a situation where he (Fer) wasn’t our player but it’s right that we look after the boy. The boy’s a really good player and it just didn’t work. There’s reasons it didn’t work but the boy’s a really good player and we wish him well.
“On this occasion we just couldn’t quite conclude the deal. There’s lot of things connected to signing a player; it can be the contract, the agent, the clubs or the medicals and all those things play a part and on this occasion some of them just didn’t come together.”
The Blues were helped to victory against Steve Clarke’s side by a superb performance from Leighton Baines, and his manager was duly impressed.
“I thought he played really well. He keeps getting better,” said the Scot. “When teams try to stop him he tries to work on how he can alter doing things. He’s great for a manager because he wants to get better and keep improving. We’re very fortunate to have him here.”
The game saw two of Everton’s key men – Kevin Mirallas and Darron Gibson – return to action, something which also left Moyes feeling optimistic.
He added: “Kevin had some moments and we got Darron on so it was important to get them both back. It was a really difficult Goodison pitch, especially in the second half which could be a problem for us because it’s not playing well. I think in the end we’ve had a decent January. We’ve stuck at it and picked up points. If you look at the league there’s very little between the teams at the top and the bottom. Nobody is winning games at a canter.”