Everton turn attention to Onuoha

Everton have turned their attention to Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha after failing to add Kyle Naughton to their squad.

Full-back Naughton, along with Sheffield United club-mate Kyle Walker, has signed for Tottenham despite the Merseysiders initially agreeing a fee for the players with the Championship side.

Now it has emerged that when City made their rejected £15m bid for Joleon Lescott last week, Everton enquired about Onuoha's availability at the same time.

Onuoha, the England Under-21 defender, is also interesting Aston Villa and Spurs with new contract talks at City having dragged on for several months.

With Everton still working on the possible £6million transfer of Sweden international Rasmus Elms, there is unlikely to be any further transfer activity until manager David Moyes returns with his squad next week from their matches in Canada and the USA.

Lescott's future will then be sorted out, with the England defender aware that he will have to formally ask for a transfer if Everton are to change their mind about a bid from City - which will have to be closer to £30million to hand Moyes some transfer market muscle.

Everton's attempts to increase their defensive depth have not been lost on full-back Tony Hibbert, whose last appearance for the club saw him substituted at half-time in the FA Cup final defeat by Chelsea after a torrid opening 45 minutes against Florent Malouda.

Hibbert, though, is keen to make it clear he aims to fight for his place in the side.

He said: "The challenge is the same every season. When you play for Everton you have got to show you deserve to be in the team. You must fight all the time to keep your marks up.

"You look at the age of the players now coming through and that is when it hits you that you are not one of the kids any more. The talent that some of them have is unbelievable and in years to come, it is only going to help the club.

"The gaffer was spot on to look at another right-back. That is always going to happen because if you want to be successful now, you need two players for every position and it is good to see that Everton are being linked with these outstanding young players.

"I love the club, I have been here all my life and whoever gets brought in is only going to help us out, so why would I complain?"

But questions have been asked about Hibbert's future after his nightmare at Wembley.

Hibbert said: "When the season finished, I got away as soon as I could and had a couple of holidays with my family. But here we are again, back to work with the season not far off. It just goes by too quickly.

"How was I after the final? It was just one of those things. We all went into the game with the highest of hopes but we came out of it on a real downer. But you have to do everything you can to put it behind you as soon as possible.

"Getting back to another final has to be the aim. Looking back, it was a nightmare to get booked so early and, to be honest, it rattled me. I love tackling, that is what I base my game on, so straight away I was thinking 'I'm not going to be able to tackle here'.

"You just have to look at things in a positive way if you can. All the lads have got a lot of experience now and they know what playing in a final is all about and I am sure it is only going to help us in the long term."

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