By all accounts Joleon Lescott received a great reception from Everton fans last night in their friendly against Malaga. Lescott played the full 90 minutes and heard his name being sung at the end.
David Moyes added:
“The crowd gave Joleon Lescott a good reaction because they understand that what we are doing is right.
“We’ve been very consistent on this and said Joleon would not be sold. I cannot comment any further than that.”
There’s been speculation that City may make a final bid in the region of Ã‚Â£22, but given the resolute nature of everyone at Everton there seems little chance of it being accepted. This is despite Lescott having stated he would like to talk to City. Maybe a written transfer request, which would waive his right to any loyalty payments, might see a change in Everton’s stance but I doubt it, and Lescott is clearly reluctant to go this far. The support of the fans last night will surely have made this even less likely.
So where does that leave City? It was clear on Wednesday night that we need a commanding left-footed central defender and any talk to the contrary is bordering on the deluded.
Sebastien Bassong, who last week was said to be top of our alternatives to Lescott, has joined Spurs.
Matthew Upson is again being mentioned this morning, though his lack of pace makes him as likely to fit into Hughes system about as well as Richard Dunne currently does. The dire financial position of West Ham’s owners may make them more likely to sell than Everton.
Sylvain Distin is being courted by Sunderland, Villa and possibly Liverpool, yet Portsmouth are now saying they won’t be selling. Distin used to have decent pace and crucially he was excellent at moving across to cover left back when they were caught upfield. This is a feature of his game that we’ve sorely missed since his departure, especially with the attacking instincts of Wayne Bridge. If we want him we should move fast.
Brede Hangeland is a name being bandied around by a lot of supporters, but there doesn’t appear to be anything coming from the club. His lack of pace puts him in the same category as Upson for me.
Chelsea won’t be selling Alex, so that’s that.
There seems to be little consideration of players plying their trade overseas in this transfer window. Hughes clearly wants players with Premiership experience who can hit the ground running, so there seems little chance of anyone coming from abroad.
At the moment there’s no outstanding alternative to Lescott, and the question has to be asked as to whether we’ve once again spent to long chasing a player who won’t be coming.