The little matter of extending Steven Pienaar's contract is starting to turn into a nightmare for David Moyes, manager of Everton.
A month ago Moyes was confident he'd have his midfielder penned for another four years. Pienaar's contract talks started before Jack Rodwell's and before Seamus Coleman's. Both of those players are signed, sealed, and delivered.
Tim Cahill has also signed his new deal, and talks are underway with Mikel Arteta and Leighton Baines.
Meanwhile, the talks have stalled with Pienaar, and it seems both sides are blaming the other.
It was thought at first that Pienaar was the one who was unhappy with the progression of the talks and told Everton he'd like to wait until after the World Cup was over before resuming extension talks.
But now it appears as though the Pienaar camp has changed their story. Pienaar's agent, Ivan Modia, has recently delivered an ultimatum to Everton. He has told the Toffees that Steven is prepared to walk away from Everton if he is not offered an improved contract by the time the World Cup begins next month.
According to an ESPN, Modia went so far as to say if Everton does not offer a contract by the start of the World Cup (June 11), they will be confirming that they are happy to sell Pienaar.
In light of this development, The Times is reporting that Tottenham has moved beyond the "interested" stage in Pienaar to the "ready to make a bid" stage. Moyes has thus come out and said it will take £15 million. Harry Redknapp is apparantly poised to make a bid.
Pienaar does have one year left on his contract, and I would imagine that Moyes and Everton expect him to honor that contract if they can't move him.
Pienaar and his South African club play the first game of the World Cup on June 11. By the time of that game, Steven Pienaar is more likely to be a Spur than a Blue (Liverpool is the other team interested), the way things look. Hopefully, if that happens, Moyes can pocket the £15 million.
If indeed Moyes has given up trying to resign Pienaar and is focused on getting as much as he can for him, he may be turning his full attention to Mikel Arteta. Arteta's talks have also not gone as smoothly as hoped.
Manchester City have come forward as the team most interested in stealing away Arteta. They usual suspects have all expressed some level of interest: Chelsea, Manchester United, and Arsenal.
Moyes has probably resigned himself to the fact that one of the two will be gone. In the end Arteta may prove more valuable in resigning than Pienaar.
The possibility of perhaps getting Landon Donovan to come back to Goodison after his season is over in Los Angeles would be a nice consolation if they lose one or even both of the midfielders. However, the earliest we could see Donovan back in Blue would be January.