Steven Pienaar has hit out at Everton’s “unreasonable” treatment as the former South Africa international’s contract winds down at Goodison Park.
Pienaar has made 228 appearances for Everton across two permanent stints and a pair of loan spells, but has been limited to three substitute appearances in the Premier League this season, chiefly due to a thigh injury.
That trio of outings came in consecutive fixtures against Manchester City, Chelsea and Swansea City in January, but Pienaar has since been unable to force his way into Roberto Martinez’s plans.
The 34-year-old is set to join fellow veteran Tim Howard, bound for an MLS return with Colorado Rapids, in departing Goodison at the end of the campaign, but he is unhappy with a lack of communication from club officials.
“I’m 100 per cent fit and felt in good form when I played some games in January,” Pienaar told KickOff.com.
“I haven’t been in the squad for the last six weeks, I don’t know why, and obviously this is a concern for me. But that is the coach’s decision and I must respect that.
“Waiting until the end of the season to hear whether or not Everton wish to extend my contract is unreasonable, I feel. It’s not the way I envisaged ending my career at a club that has been such a major part of my life.
“My representatives have tried a number of times, unsuccessfully, to get hold of the club to talk about my future and get some indication, so I remain in the dark. Obviously I need to keep my options open because I would still like to keep playing for another couple of seasons at least.”
Pienaar said he would “love to give something new a go” when the prospects of a move to the recently big-spending Chinese Super League was raised, but suggested he would accept a less glamorous switch in the short term.
He added: “I am really just looking for game-time at this stage of my career so in my current situation I wouldn’t mind dropping down to the Championship to help a club there until the end of the season. That would be a great challenge.
“I still feel like I have got a lot to offer and at this stage of my career, what’s most important for me is playing games.”
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