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David Moyes is making a late bid to hijack Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic.
Moyes plans to plunge all of his available budget into landing a goalscorer and has turned to the SPL giants for their £5million-rated Croatian hitman.
Jelavic wants to move to England and will consider Everton ahead of West Ham as they are in the Premier League.
BEAMING with pride, Tim Donovan stood patiently in the background as his son was interviewed by the media in the Goodison Park players’ tunnel after Everton FC beat Fulham.
The unassuming American in the US soccer bomber jacket had just witnessed why his boy feels such a sense of belonging to a football club in a city more than 5,000 miles from home.
Donovan Snr is in town to take in a couple of games during his son’s second loan stint on Merseyside.
The former semi-professional ice hockey player watched as Landon played a key role in Everton’s passage into the fifth round of the FA Cup on Friday, and will be there again tomorrow night when he will help David Moyes’ side try to claim one of the biggest scalps in the Premier League.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and his assistant David Platt were also at Goodison in a watching brief on Friday, but left before Marouane Fellaini’s second-half winner against the Cottagers.
Donovan hopes the pair see more Everton goals tomorrow, but accepts that beating a rested and focused City will be his biggest challenge yet since returning to the Toffees.
The mega-rich Mancunians might have been denied a visit to Wembley in the Carling Cup after defeat by Liverpool, but Donovan insists that setback will not detract from their threat.
“It’s hard to say Manchester City are vulnerable at any point in the season,” says the 29-year-old. “They’re just a very good team and now their goal is very clear. They have one thing to play for and that’s to win the Premier League.
“We fully expect that they’ve been home resting the last few days, and it’s going to take everything we have to get a result. No question.”
Donovan believes victory over Fulham should draw a line under a frustrating period for the Blues, and believes the spirit on the team and in the stadium on Friday must become a template for the rest of the season.
“It shows us now a blueprint of what works,” he says. “We have seen what doesn’t work last weekend and over the last few weeks.
“If we play like we did against Fulham we have a chance to win, and if we have a little bit more quality we can score a few more goals. But that attitude, aggression and willingness to get after it and go for it is something we should always play with.
“If we do we have a chance to win every time we step on the field.”
Donovan warns that Everton cannot afford to produce anything but 100% dedication against the league leaders, even if it is their second game in four days.
“We spent a lot of time this week talking about, looking at tapes and learning how to have the right attitude and impetus to play the game in the right way,” he says. “If you go for it and lose you can look yourself in the mirror and be OK with it. But the last few weeks, to be honest, I don’t think we’ve done that and I’m glad we did it against Fulham and got a reward for it.
“It’s been a frustrating few weeks for the fans too. If they boo or they’re hard on us it’s because we’ve deserved it over that time.
“But we saw on Friday, even when Fulham went a goal up, the attitude was still good and they could see we were trying to play the right way. It makes a big difference and you could feel the energy was a lot better. I’m glad we could do that for them.”
City’s emergence as a dominant force has been the most significant change since 2010 when Donovan first linked up with David Moyes. And he has enjoyed observing the magic of the Etihad stadium-side’s most gifted performer, David Silva, from afar.
“If he’s not the best player in the league right now, he’s close,” says Donovan. “He’s a special talent and there’s a few guys at this level that can pull off special plays and he’s one of them. He’s going to be a handful, and if we’re going to get anything out of the game we’ve got to be tactically tight and have high energy levels. We’re going to stick to what works.”
For Donovan progress in the FA Cup was especially important. It ensures he will have another game during his loan spell, after being denied a chance to play in next month’s Merseyside derby by the fixture’s postponement.
“Seeing Liverpool advance to the Carling Cup final meant I’m going to miss the derby so I want to play as many games as I can while I’m here, and hopefully I want to be a part of something special in this cup run,” he says.
‘Special’ is the word the USA’s all-time leading goal-scorer uses often in connection with Everton, and frequently when referring to the highlights of his first loan spell which he hopes to re-create tomorrow.
“There were a couple of games that stood out last time, both night games, against Chelsea and Man City at Goodison,” he says. “The energy against Fulham was like that. For a player it’s really special to play in games like that, it’s fun to be a part of. It’s special.
“I think from all of us it’s about an attitude. For whatever reason we’ve just been down a little bit over the last few weeks. The great thing about that is you have a choice in the matter. You could tell in the locker room before the Fulham game everyone decided we were just going to go for it.”
EVERTON FC are in the race to sign Glasgow Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic as David Moyes steps up his attempts to land a goalscorer before the transfer deadline.
The Blues have contacted the Glasgow giants to express their interest in the Croatia star, who is also wanted by QPR and West Ham.
Jelavic, 26, has expressed his desire to move to the Premier League, with Rangers resigned to losing their prolific goalscorer, and the former Rapid Vienna attacker will join whichever club meets his personal terms and matches his £8m price tag.
While QPR are believed to have bigger funds available than the Toffees, Moyes has the £5.5m that Spartak Moscow paid for Diniyar Bilyaletdinov at his disposal, and combined with his pre-existing budget for January, a deal would not be impossible.
Rangers have already compromised on their initial demand of £10m for Jelavic, after owner Craig Whyte was persuaded that few clubs would be willing to pay that amount.
If Moyes is unsuccessful in his pursuit of Jelavic, who has scored 30 goals in 45 games since moving to Scotland in 2010, he could turn to Wolves’ Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle.
Doyle, 28, is a player the Everton boss has coveted previously due to his work rate and prowess in leading the line, and Everton were interested before he left Reading for Molineux in a £6.5m deal in 2009.
He has lost his automatic starting place to Steven Fletcher this season, only scoring twice so far, meaning Wolves could be open to offers.
It will be a busy 48 hours for Moyes, who wants to get all his transfer dealings completed early, before tomorrow’s game against Manchester City at Goodison Park. The window closes at midnight tomorrow, but Moyes insisted on Friday that he will not be distracted from the clash against league leaders City and is aiming to wrap up any business beforehand.
Should moves for either Jelavic or Doyle not come to fruition, he could turn to Besiktas’ Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida, 27.
The Goodison outfit already have one hard-working centre forward who has found form, in loan recruit Denis Stracqualursi.
The Argentinian netted his debut strike for the Blues during Friday’s FA Cup win over Fulham, and was moved to tears as he celebrated.
“I didn’t know what to do in that second. But it was for my son, my family and my parents in Argentina. I’m happy I got the goal for them,” he said.
“During the week the coach spoke with me and said I had a chance to play. He told me there are a lot of quality forward players in the team so I have to take every opportunity.
“I thought I did well and I’m very happy with the outcome.”
WEMBLEY moved a step nearer for Everton FC and Liverpool FC after both were handed home ties for the third successive round in the FA Cup.
The fifth round draw sees Liverpool entertain npower Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion while Everton welcome either Championship outfit Blackpool or League One side Sheffield Wednesday.
Liverpool have already beaten Brighton once this season after winning 2-1 at the Amex Stadium in September’s Carling Cup second round tie.
The last FA Cup meeting between the teams was in 1991 when Liverpool won a fourth-round replay 3-2 after surrendering a 2-0 lead in the first game at Anfield.
But they have never beaten Brighton at home in the FA Cup and famously lost 2-1 at Anfield to the Seagulls at this stage of the competition in 1983, and were then beaten 2-0 on the South Coast the fourth round the following season.
Everton, who defeated Fulham 2-1 at home on Friday night to progress, must wait to discover their opponents after Blackpool and Wednesday drew 1-1 at Bloomfield Road at the weekend.
The Goodison outfit have never met Blackpool in the FA Cup but have been paired against Wednesday on 14 previous occasions, winning nine times.
Everton won the last meeting at Hillsborough 2-1 in 1990, and have met the Owls twice in the final – winning in 1966 but losing in 1907.
While ties are scheduled to be played the weekend of Saturday February 18, both Liverpool and Everton have already played FA Cup ties on a Friday night this season and could play the previous evening.
FA Cup 5th round draw in full:
Liverpool v Brighton
Everton v Blackpool or Sheffield Wednesday
Chelsea v Birmingham
Crawley Town v Stoke
Stevenage v Tottenham
Norwich v Leicester
Sunderland or Middlesbrough v Arsenal
Millwall or Southampton v Bolton