Belfast Telegraph

Everton snapping at Liverpool’s heels

Everton boss David Moyes believes the gap between his team and Liverpool is now as close as he can remember during his time in charge.

Moyes, working with just a fraction of the Anfield side's budget, has finished above Liverpool only once in his nine years at Goodison Park.

His side have an excellent chance to improve on that record this season as they head into tomorrow's 215th Merseyside derby level with the Reds — albeit in mid-table — in the Barclays Premier League.

The Scot said: “We have done well against the bigger sides and hopefully we can do it against Liverpool.

“The difference in the spending between the two clubs is a different world completely.

“But we have competed quite well with Liverpool, we have tried to be up there. The gap is probably as close now as it has ever been.”

The mood has only been punctured by confirmation that Steven Pienaar is leaving. Everton have accepted a bid from an unnamed club for the South African midfielder, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

It has been reported that Chelsea have held discussions with the player but they have broken down and he is now likely to sign a pre-contract agreement with a European club.

Moyes would only reveal that the 28-year-old, signed for £2million from Borussia Dortmund in 2007, has rejected a new contract.

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