Everton are holding firm in the battle for Joleon Lescott after rejecting a transfer request from the England international.
Manchester City have been tracking the 26 year old for most of the summer and appear to have stepped up their bid, following John Terry’s decision to stay at Chelsea. However, Everton manager David Moyes appears determined to keep Lescott and has already rejected two bids for the defender.
Purists may be quick to criticise Manchester City’s financial juggernaut and the players that have gleefully hopped on board but it takes a lot to reject such an offer. Whether Everton fans will be quite as understanding remains to be seen – they cheered Lescott throughout a recent friendly match with Malaga but are unlikely to be as supportive now he has pinned his colours to the mast.
Lescott is currently on international duty with England and has yet to comment but his manager has made his feelings clear.
“I have always said that we are not selling any players and that has not changed,” David Moyes told the Everton website.
Given the Toffees are in direct competition with Manchester City for a top six spot, Moyes’ stance is understandable. Everton have made great progress under the Scot and will be desperate to keep moving forward, following two successive fifth place finishes and an FA Cup final appearance.
Lescott joined the club for £5million in 2006 and has played a key part in Everton’s revival. It would be a safe football bet that to lose him would be a major blow for Moyes and a huge addition to a Manchester City defence that conceded an unenviable half century of goals last season.
The big problem for Everton is the frowned upon issue of player power – Kaka and Terry rejected City’s millions because they wanted to stay at their respective clubs; for Lescott that is not the case. As with Xabi Alonso at Liverpool, what a player wants, a player normally gets.
Unfortunately for Moyes and the purists money talks and Lescott is clearly listening.