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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 14, 2008

Everton consider new Fernandes loan deal

Manuel Fernandes' form at the end of the season could have won him another loan move to Everton, according to manager boss David Moyes.

The Portuguese midfielder has now returned to Valencia at the end of a short-term loan that saw him play 14 games for the Toffees as they clinched fifth place in the Premier League and a place in the UEFA Cup.

It was the second loan spell the 22-year-old Lisbon-born star had completed at Goodison Park.

On both occasions any hope of a permanent move were ended due to the £12million asking price, with the ownership of Fernandes' playing rights by a third party also proving problematic.

But although Everton boss Moyes will again not consider a permanent move, the prospect of a third loan for next season is being considered.

Moyes said: 'Fernandes' form towards the end of the season was much improved. He has got better, he passed the ball well. Much like last season when he arrived and got better as things went along.

'He certainly looked in better shape, physically, than he did when he first came (in January). We are going to assess his situation over the coming weeks, I have got a few ideas of what I want to do with him. It will happen in time.'

Fernandes returned to Goodison in mid-season after experiencing disciplinary problems at Valencia, and initially his form and fitness were in question.

But because of the injuries to Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill, Fernandes found himself involved for the final seven games of the season and he played a significant part in securing a UEFA Cup spot.

Moyes will also appoint an assistant manager in the summer, having lost Alan Irvine to Preston halfway through last term.

Reserve team coach Andy Holden filled in admirably for the final months, but Moyes may turn to Newcastle's Steve Round to add to his coaching staff.

Round, who has been linked with Everton for some time, is out of contract as first team coach at Newcastle in a month and there are doubts over whether his deal will be renewed.

• Meanwhile, Everton defender Nuno Valente has signed a contract extension to keep him at Goodison Park for a further 12 months.

The club activated a clause in the contract of Valente whose season was hit by injury as he was restricted to 14 starts.

The 33-year-old left-back joined Everton from Porto in 2005 and has made 50 start for the Toffees.