David Moyes has hinted that being able to add to his squad in the summer could be the deciding factor in whether he signs a new contract at Everton.
The Scot has been in charge of the Goodison Park club since March 2002, and although he has failed to add to one of the most impressive honours list in English football, he has earned a reputation as one of the best coaches in the business during his time on Merseyside.
Moyes is out of contract in the summer, and as per usual, he has been linked with a host of top jobs, including the soon to be vacant post at Chelsea. And the Stamford Bridge club would offer him the chance to compete for a top-four finish and silverware every season.
The 49-year-old has refused to rule out signing a new deal with the Toffees, though, and earlier this week chairman Bill Kenwright insisted there is nobody else he would rather have in charge. Although talks have so far failed to reach a satisfactory conclusion, the former Preston North End boss has indicated that this was always only likely to be done when the current season has reached an end.
Moyes has again repeated his stance, but he has also hinted that much will depend on whether sufficient finances are made available to allow him to add more quality to his ageing squad, which could be used to improve their chances of competing with the best in the Premier League.
“Being at Everton is something I would be really happy with,” he said. “But we have been talking for a long time now, three or four months, and everyone nudges along a little bit further every time we speak. As I have said, we will conclude that at the end of the season.
“What I am trying to do is make sure I give Everton the best chance of going forward. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I would never do anything, in any way, to jeopardise Everton or the football club. I want to make sure the fans see a promising, fresh-looking team for the seasons to come.
“We have to make sure the finances we have give us the opportunity to do that. We have a small squad, and in truth we have an ageing squad as well, which we need to look at. I need to be capable of being able to make those changes for the best of Everton.”
Of Moyes’ current options, nine are aged 30 or over: Sylvain Distin, Tony Hibbert, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Jan Mucha, Phil Neville (the oldest at 36), Liam Osman and Steven Pienaar, whilst Johnny Heitinga will also enter his thirties later this year.
Whilst a top four finish this season is not entirely out of the question – they are six points behind Tottenham Hotspur – a run of three draws and two defeats in six matches between 12 January and 23 February could prove costly, although they have since bounced back with successive wins over struggling Reading and, more impressively, champions Manchester City.
Should Moyes decide to call time on his career at Everton in the summer, there is every chance he could look towards Germany for his next challenge. A keen admirer of the Bundesliga, he admitted in December that he holds an ambition to test his abilities abroad.
“I always had the hope of being a coach abroad,” he said in an interview with France Football. “If I had the choice, I would probably go to Germany, in part because of the mentality, which is similar to mine. I’m also fascinated by what happens in German football.”