London: Tim Cahill has ended his eight-year spell with Everton by agreeing to join Thierry Henry at New York Red Bulls. The Australia international had two years remaining on his contract.
Everton said: “Tim will move to the Red Bulls for a nominal fee subject to agreeing personal terms and passing a medical. He will travel to the US in the next few days.”
Cahill is likely to be accompanied out of Everton by Joseph Yobo, who is close to joining Fenerbahce for £2 million (Dh11.38 million). Proceeds from the deals should enable David Moyes to bring Steven Pienaar back to Goodison Park from Tottenham Hotspur.
Pienaar flourished back on Merseyside on loan last season and is a transfer priority for the Everton manager. Spurs want £5 million for the South Africa international, who has made clear his desire to return to Goodison, while Everton want to pay a reduced fee that could rise towards Tottenham’s valuation with achievements.
Cahill’s departure removes a huge influence from the Everton dressing room and marks the end of an outstanding career with the club, although the midfielder’s impact on the field has lessened over the past two seasons. Bought for just £1.5 million from Millwall in 2004, he has proved to be one of Moyes’ finest signings, with 68 goals in 278 appearances for Everton and many vital contributions.
Key player at club
He has scored more league goals against Liverpool than any other Everton player in the post-war era, and encouraged Moyes to adopt a 4-4-1-1 system for the majority of his time on Merseyside. His role behind Nikica Jelavic next season had been threatened by the arrival of Steven Naismith, who joined Everton on a free transfer following his acrimonious exit from ‘newco’ Rangers.
Yobo is expected to finalise his permanent transfer to Fenerbahce after having spent the past two seasons on loan with the Turkish club, who have consistently refused to meet Everton’s £4 million valuation but are willing to pay £2 million.
Everton have yet to receive an approach from Manchester United for Leighton Baines despite the England international, who Moyes does not want to lose, being frequently linked with Old Trafford. A more likely big-name departure from Goodison this summer could be Johnny Heitinga, the Dutch international and the club’s current Player of the Year, who is a target for several European clubs.