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Jan 17, 2012

Heitinga: Pienaar return not realistic

Everton defender John Heitinga says he would be delighted if Steven Pienaar were to return to Goodison Park, but warned that the Toffees will probably be priced out of a move.

Pienaar, 29, left Everton for Tottenham in a £3 million move last January but has struggled to settle in at White Hart Lane, making just 16 appearances for the club.

The South Africa international has been linked with a possible return to his former club, however Heitinga is not holding out too much hope of being reunited with his former team-mate.

"I'd take him back but I don't think it's realistic,'' Heitinga told the Liverpool Echo. "They would ask for more money to sell him than they paid us for him and we don't have much more.

"It's up to the manager and the board whether a few players come or not but Pienaar is unrealistic.''

Heitinga understood Pienaar's decision to leave Merseyside, but admits he expected the midfielder to have accumulated more game time than he has managed thus far.

"I played with him at Ajax and he's got a lot of quality,'' Heitinga said. "It surprises me that he's not playing more regularly for them. He was injured but he did very well for Everton in the past.

"Everton is a nice club to play for and Steven made the decision to go to another club and it's his right to make that decision. You'd need to ask Steven if he regrets it (leaving). The important thing for me is that you're happy and you play.

"I heard in the newspaper he was going to leave and go to another team so you never know what's going to happen.''

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