Everton midfielder Tim Cahill is set to end his eight year association with Everton by signing a deal with MLS side New York Red Bulls.
In what is ironically the anniversary of his arrival on Merseyside in 2004, rumours began to spread like wildfire this afternoon, bringing hysteria and derision in equal measure on Twitter.
ITK’s everywhere began passing off rumour as fact, others were desperately searching for a media source to confirm the news, or even Cahill himself, whose Twitter account was worryingly quiet.
BBC Sport then confirmed the rumours, saying that New York Red Bulls had made a bid of £1million that had been accepted. This was later confirmed on the official site, with Cahill set to fly to the States in the coming days
For me, as an Evertonian, this is a classic battle of heart vs. head. My head tells me that Cahill is past his best, was below par last season and will be on big, big wages.
Offers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar emerged, though no deals were completed. It seems, however, that a move was always on the offing at some stage this summer.
My heart wants him to stay in the hope he can recapture his best form as he has been without doubt the most consistent player over the last decade under David Moyes and a player who genuinely loves the club.
In these days of money-grabbing mercenaries and unscrupulous agents Cahill was a rare breed - someone who cared for the club, its staff, players and fans and would put his body on the line to prove it. Players like Cahill do not come around very often - certainly at £1.5million, one of the greatest ever pieces of transfer business.
It will be a wrench to see him leave and I would hope he could have some sort of farewell game – or maybe even a friendly with his new club somewhere down the line?
His service also deserved some tangible reward in the form of a winners medal - making last season's FA Cup semi-final defeat all more gut wrenching.
But on a practical level, with the money saved can Moyes fill the gap more effectively?
There is no question that he looked a faded force last season and with Steven Naismith poised to rekindle his partnership with Nikica Jelavic; he was set to be a very expensive benchwarmer in the coming season.
Also, MLS fans, would this help in anyway to push through a deal for Landon Donovan? (please say yes!!!) I'm not too hot on the MLS transfer rulings.
I’m sure a ‘best of Tim Cahill’ piece will follow but in the mean time make sure you let us know your favourite Timmy moments in the comments section below.
Or if you need reminding, check out this excellent YouTube compilation, featuring all of his 68 goals from 278 appearances in a Toffees shirt.
Thanks for the memories Timmy.
Tim Cahill's 68 Goals For Everton (via edevertondrums)