Everton's refusal to consider selling Joleon Lescott to Manchester City remained steadfast last night despite their spectacular opening-day collapse against Arsenal.
City's manager Mark Hughes confirmed following his own team's 2-0 victory at Blackburn that he regarded the pursuit of the Goodison and England central defender as still alive.
He stoked up the ill feeling between himself and David Moyes by saying he knew the answer would have been "no" if he had made a phone call to his counterpart and that it was Everton who, via their website, had first publicised City's approach.
However, Everton's manager, caught by television cameras with his head in his hands as Arsenal scored the third of their six goals at Goodison last night, is adamant Lescott is staying.
"There is no deal, is there?" he asked. "I think I've said Joleon is not for sale."
Moyes added that he thought Lescott performed satisfactorily despite the general defensive incompetence, but added: "We lost two diabolical goals to set-pieces and didn't perform at all in the second half."