Moyes will sell sullen Lescott to City for £30m
EVERTON will demand £30 million from Manchester City for Joleon Lescott after David Moyes finally lost patience this week and ordered the defender to train by himself.
City will contact Goodison Park bosses with an improved offer of £22m after failing with recent bids of £15m and £18m, but will be told to go even higher to end the saga over Everton's disgruntled centre half.
It will be a test of City's apparent willingness to pay whatever is required to land their main targets.
But they are expected to reach a compromise, nearer Everton's valuation than theirs, to partner Lescott with Kolo Toure at the heart of their defence.
Moyes finally snapped over the stance adopted by his £5m signing from Wolves and admitted his sullen mood was having a negative effect on the rest of the squad.
Dismayed by the lack of fight in an opening 6-1 home humiliation by Arsenal – and Lescott's subsequent demeanour in training – he informed the 27-year-old he would not be in the Everton squad for their Europa League qualifier against Sigma Olomouc (won 4-0 by Moyes’ team) on Thursday – and ordered him to train alone.
Moyes insisted he was more determined than ever to keep Lescott at Everton. But, as he pursues a list of targets headed by Middlesbrough's David Wheater and City's Richard Dunne, who could be included in a part-exchange deal, it seems certain he will relent if City come close to Everton's asking price.
Moyes, who is also closing in on Russia winger Vladimir Bystrov, spoke this week about how even Lescott's teammates have become disillusioned by his lack of commitment.
“His attitude has been poor postArsenal,” said Moyes. “I have made a decision now and though we have always thought of him as a good boy, things have happened that have changed him.
“It has not been one thing, it is just generally. Normally he is a very good trainer and very focused but he doesn't seem to be that at this present time. It doesn't mean the end of his Everton career. He might be in the first-team squad for this weekend if I see there is a change in his attitude. His reaction to being left out was just a nor mal football reaction.
“Joleon has told me he would rather move, I have chosen to ignore it and not go with it. We have not had a significant enough offer for us to sell and that remains the case. I have never wanted to sell him but as I said before Ronaldo was sold by Manchester United, there will always be a price for a player. But Manchester City have not come close to meeting ours for Joleon Lescott.
“Personally, the biggest disappointment is that the people who have been advising him are giving him poor infor mation and have turned a good lad into something else,” Moyes added. “I can see by the reaction of his teammates that they are disappointed in him as well.
'But it is not inevitable that he is leaving now. All I have done is make a decision for this game that may or may not be the right decision but the performance against Arsenal made me realise that I had to do something. I couldn't let it drift.”– Daily Mail