Everton are bracing themselves for another Manchester City bid for Joleon Lescott but insist they will not sell the England international even for £30m.
Lescott arrived back from the club's Canada and USA tour today and is expected to play at Coventry on Sunday in the club's next pre-season friendly.
Everton have turned down bids of £15m and £18m from City and there is now thought to be a £22m offer on the table soon.
But club sources at Goodison Park are making it clear their attitude has hardened over the issue to the extent even a bid approaching £30m would be rejected.
Lescott is also now aware the only way that stance will change is if he asks for a transfer.
Chairman Bill Kenwright and boss David Moyes have been adamant all summer they will not sell any of the side that reached the FA Cup final and finished fifth in the Premier League last season.
Everton may be working under financial restraints but sources underline they are under no pressure from the banks to sell players, as has been the case in the past.
City boss Mark Hughes has refused to rule out another move for Lescott but Everton are making it very clear he is wasting his time unless Lescott changes the dynamics of the situation by demanding a move.
Moyes returns from the States keen to concentrate on his side's build-up to the season and he has two more friendlies next week at Blackpool on Tuesday and at home to Malaga next Friday to continue that preparation.
The Scot saw his side draw with the Major League Soccer representative side on Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, winning the penalty shoot-out that followed.
And he is delighted with the form of keeper Tim Howard, who was named the Most Valuable Player after the game.
Moyes said: "Tim is clearly playing with confidence. Playing in the Confederations Cup (for the USA) this summer has done him no harm and he has set himself some standards with a performance like that against MLS in his first game back.
"He very rarely lets us down and we need that to continue as he is so important for us. He is getting to the age now where we want him to be the top goalkeeper (in the country).
"Nigel Martyn did it for us before when he was here but now we want to see Tim go on and do the same and I don't see why he can't, either."
Since signing initially on loan from Manchester United in the summer of 2006, Howard has been the model of consistency and was rewarded in May when he signed a new, improved five-year contract.