Everton's wantaway winger Steven Pienaar has decided to turn down Chelsea after the Blues had a bid for the South African accepted by the Merseyside club, according to several reports. Pienaar, who starred for the host nation in the 2010 World Cup, has made it clear he plans to leave the Toffees when his contract expires in the summer, leaving Everton in a difficult position. A number of clubs, Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur amongst them alongside several teams on the continent, have been rumoured to be interested in his services and it seems highly likely that he will be moving on in the January transfer window.
It just won't be to Chelsea. Everton are understood to have given Pienaar permission to hold talks with Carlo Ancelotti's side in order to discuss personal terms, but said talks appear to have gone absolutely nowhere and the ex-Dortmund player now seems likely to move out of the Premier League altogether. From Chelsea's perspective, it's difficult to see Pienaar as more than a backup player to Florent Malouda, and one has to imagine that they were simply trying to take advantage of Everton's precarious position rather than making the winger a major acquisition target this winter (instead, one hopes they were focusing on defenders and central midfielders). As for Pienaar, Chelsea assumedly did not offer him enough money to get away with being unable to guarantee him a spot in the starting XI week in, week out, so he'll try his luck elsewhere.
All in all, this is pretty good news, I think. Even if Pienaar came on the cheap I don't see a major role for him on a rebuilding Chelsea team, despite his obvious talent. He's 28 years old, which doesn't help the team get better, plays on the left, which doesn't help balance out an attack that's already heavily skewed towards that side. In addition, he's already a household name in a flair position who featured in the World Cup, which is a recipe for being overrated. I like Pienaar the Everton player, but I just don't see how he'd fit into Chelsea's system. Good luck to him in Europe, though.