Everton have confirmed they have rejected Manchester City's latest offer for Joleon Lescott.
City contacted their Barclays Premier League rivals with an increased bid of £18m for the central defender - but the Toffees have turned down the offer.
Earlier this summer, the Eastlands club had a bid of £15m rejected, with Everton boss David Moyes insisting no player will leave Everton this summer without his approval.
A club statement from the Goodison club on official website www.evertonfc.com read: "We can confirm we have received an offer of £18m for Joleon Lescott from Manchester City and that offer has been rejected outright."
Everton signed Lescott from Wolves in 2006 and the player has gone on to become a regular in both the Blues' starting XI and the England national squad.
The club had been bracing themselves for another attempt to persuade them to sell the Birmingham-born centre-back.
This time news of the bid was immediately relayed to Moyes in Salt Lake City, where he was preparing his side for their friendly with the Major League Soccer All-Stars side.
City are keen to add the versatile Lescott to their expensive new squad, having failed to land John Terry from Chelsea.
It is understood that Lescott, who lives in the Manchester area, would be interested in hearing City's plans for him.
However, one bargaining point disappeared last night, with City defender Nedum Onuoha signing a new five-year contract at Eastlands.
It had been suggested that Everton may be prepared to do business if Onuoha could have been part of a new deal.
But by raising the bid by only £3million from their first attempt, City clearly have no intention of going close to the fee of around £28million which could see Everton reconsider their determination to keep the player.