Everton medical for Lucas Neill

Lucas Neill was having a medical at Everton this morning with a view to moving to the Goodison Park club on a free transfer.

Neill, 31, was at the club's Finch Farm training complex and is expected to sign for the rest of this season and three more, having turned down offers from West Ham and Sunderland.

The Australia international is currently out of contract, with his lucrative deal at West Ham expiring in the summer.

West Ham had offered Neill a one-year extension with significantly reduced wages.

The Australian turned down Liverpool to join West Ham from Blackburn in January 2007, reportedly for more than £70,000 a week.

West Ham offered around half of that to try to keep Neill, and boss Gianfranco Zola was keen for the experienced defender to stay.

But Neill has also held talks with Atletico Madrid and interested Galatasaray as well as Sunderland boss Steve Bruce, without confirming his future.

Now Everton have stepped in, hoping to land Neill to solve their defensive injury problems.

Because Neill is out of contract, he can move outside the transfer window.

Everton captain Phil Neville is out with knee ligament damage, sustained at Fulham on Sunday. A specialist yesterday ruled out the need for an operation, but the 32 year-old will be out for three months.

Everton also have Phil Jagielka out until November, and have sold Joleon Lescott to Manchester City.

That has left boss David Moyes short of options, with new signing John Heitinga ineligible until January to play in Europe.

Neill will also not be able to play in the Europa League, but can fit into various defensive positions.

He is expected to watch Everton's Europa League opener tonight at home to AEK Athens.

Moyes revealed yesterday his concerns about the strength in depth of his squad.

"We lost five players in the summer and now we have lost Phil (Neville), that's six. And we have only brought three in," Moyes said. "That does make things difficult for us, I just hope we are able to cope with it.

"Last season we did not have Europe to contend with after going out early, but if we had I don't think we would have coped with the size of the squad we had then.

"But we have even less now, so that is a serious problem for me to contend with. The squad is smaller now than last season.

"It is testing for all of us, but not every manager is going to get all the money he wants to buy the best players in the world with riches and the top players.

"Part of this job is working with what you have and making the best of it. We have done that well over the years."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada