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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Liverpool Echo

TIM HOWARD has welcomed the prospect of Landon Donovan returning to Everton – after the star admitted he would find another January loan hard to resist.

The Toffees goalkeeper believes a return to Goodison for his international team-mate would definitely benefit the ambitions of David Moyes’ side.

USA skipper Donovan has publicly admitted he could return to Merseyside, but must first decide if his energy levels are high enough after a World Cup campaign and a long domestic season in the MLS.

Howard, Everton’s player of the month, said: “It was one of those weird situations where it seemed to work for everyone, which is not always the case with business and football.

“The manager got a fantastic player, the fans loved him, he played well, and MLS and Galaxy didn’t lose a whole lot.

“It was off season and he got a chance to play at a high level. I don’t see why it can’t happen again this year. We enjoyed it and so did he.”

Donovan’s club, LA Galaxy, continue to be reluctant to consider permanent offers for their star player’s services, but have hinted he could be allowed to depart on loan again in November.

The 28-year-old said: “It would be hard to say no. I really hope that, if it’s not this year, I get to go back there and play again."

Liverpool Echo

EVERTON Reserves lost 1-0 against Sunderland at the Halton Stadium last night.

Jordan Cook’s first-half goal was enough to give the Wearsiders victory.

Everton started brightly with Magaye Gueye involved in much of their good work. After 12 minutes he went close to giving Everton the lead but sliced his effort.

Sunderland had their first chance of the match when Robbie Weir was denied by Everton keeper Iain Turner, who was equal to his long-range effort. But soon after they took the lead when Cook headed in David Healy's left-wing cross.

Everton’s best chance of the first half came five minutes before the break when James Wallace was denied by Scottish international keeper Craig Gordon after Jose Baxter had put him in on goal.

Hope Akpan headed straight at Gordon with 20 minutes left. As Everton chased an equaliser Turner saved from Adam Reed to give them hope. But in the end Sunderland held out.

Daily Post

EVERTON FC’s second bid to build luxury homes on its former Bellefield training ground looks likely to finally be approved.

In 2008, the council blocked the club’s plans to build homes on the site after around 220 residents complained.

Last year, a planning inspector then quashed the club’s appeal.

But now, after changes in planning policies, the club’s latest attempt to build 74 homes on the site off Sandforth Road, in West Derby, is being recommended for approval by council officials.

Once more the plans have attracted criticism from local residents.

The council has received 138 letters of objection, voicing the same concerns as those mentioned when the first planning application was under discussion.

They are mainly concerned about increased traffic, extra pressure on local schools, doctors and dentists, and the loss of open space.

When the club’s appeal against the original rejection was thrown out, a planning inspector said the project would harm the city’s Housing Market Renewal Initiative (HMRI).

The HMRI strategy sets out priority areas for new homes and Bellefield does not fall within it.

The inspector said there was nothing to suggest the plans would have a detrimental effect on the living conditions of residents by virtue of the increased traffic movements.

Since the last planning application, the Regional Spatial Strategy, which sets the terms for the Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), has been ripped up.

This effectively paves the way for the scheme to be given approval.

A report to councillors states: “On balance, the development control manager considers that the proposed housing on this site, at this time would not undermine the existing HMRI proposals and would help to address the need for larger, higher value homes.

“Given the unique nature of the redevelopment and of the proposed regeneration benefits, the development control manager does not consider allowing housing development on this site would set any precedent to justify further redevelopment outside the HMRI area at this time.”

The city’s planning committee will discuss the plans on Tuesday, October 26.

Head of communications at Everton, Ian Ross, said: “We have always believed that high quality housing is the future for the site, and nothing has changed our view down the years.”

In 2007, Everton moved to its new training ground at Finch Farm, in Halewood, freeing up the 8.9-acre Bellefield site for housing.

If planning permission is approved for the scheme, to be built by Bellway Homes, it will unlock up to £10m for the club.

When the plans were first mooted, the club hoped the proceeds of sale of the site would have helped fund Everton’s proposed stadium in Kirkby, which eventually collapsed when the government rejected the plan.

The money will now ploughed back into the club and its community charity, The Everton Foundation.

Daily Express

EVERTON stand to collect a hefty January windfall if Wayne Rooney quits Manchester United in the transfer window.

Chairman Bill Kenwright negotiated a 25 per cent sell-on clause when Rooney joined United in 2004 for £26.5million, in addition to numerous other payments that have been triggered by the striker’s success at Old Trafford.

Everton are entitled to a quarter of any fee above the amount they received from Sir Alex Ferguson. It means that if Rooney is sold for £50m, they will receive about £6m.

That sum would be a major boost to manager David Moyes and top-up what limited funds that would otherwise have been available when the window opens.

Moyes will seek to strengthen his striking options and remains keen to sign a right midfielder.

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