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.
According to several reports Joleon Lescott yesterday asked to be allowed to speak to City in a meeting with David Moyes. Whether this is going to be enough to enable City to complete the signing of our first choice target for the left-sided centre-back position remains to be seen.
Moyes, as we’ve come to expect, is still against the idea and Bill Kenwright is unlikely to go against the wishes of his manager or the clubs supporters. It looks like Lescott will now have to go to the next stage submit a written transfer request, and City may well follow this up with a fresh bid.
There is the distinct impression that Moyes and Kenwright’s will turn down Lescott’s transfer request and Everton are continuing to make it known they don’t need the money. Their likely signing of Philippe Senderos is said to be cover for the injured Jagielka.
The whole thing has stalemate written all over it, and I can’t see City wanting the situation to drag on much longer with the knowledge that second choices Bassong and Distin are being chased by Tottenham and Villa respectively. The canny Moyes may well be banking on City soon running out of patience.
The only thing likely to change this would be for Moyes to decide he doesn’t want an unhappy player on his hands, otherwise I can see City making a move for Bassong before the end of the week.
A report in today’s MEN and a footnote in The Times both claim City have lined up either Chelsea’s Alex or Newcastle’s Sebastien Bassong as an alternative to Joleon Lescott.
The Times understands that SÃƒÂ©bastien Bassong, the Newcastle United defender, or Alex, the Chelsea centre back, are being lined up as alternative targets.
The Blues are preparing bids for Newcastle’s Sebastien Bassong and Chelsea’s Alex after Everton firmly rejected an improved Ã‚Â£18m bid for England defender Lescott.
It makes sense for City to start weighing up alternatives given the flat refusal of David Moyes and Everton to entertain bids for Lescott. It also fits with City’s apparent transfer policy of judging each deal on it’s individual merits and being prepared to walk away if the sums go above what Hughes, Cook and Khaldoon Al Mubarak think it is worth.
Both these players are 6′ 2″ which would seem to be a pre-requisite for the centre of our defence given that none of Toure, Onuoha or Richards are over six feet tall.Ã‚Â Dunne is 6′ 2″, but appears far from guaranteed a first team place nextÃ‚Â season.
Being a left footed centre half who could provide cover at left back were qualities that Hughes was keen on with Lescott. It’s interesting to note that Bassong is also able to provide this, as he states on his Facebook page.