Wantaway Everton defender Joleon Lescott is still in line to feature in tomorrow's home friendly with Malaga despite further claims he is on the brink of a move to Manchester City.
There had even been speculation he would be unveiled by City at their fans' open day at Eastlands today.
But Everton were "mystified" at suggestions a £22m deal had been agreed, and underlined no new bid from City for the player had been received since last week's rejection of a £19m offer - City's second official approach for the player.
Lescott has missed Everton's last two matches at Coventry and Blackpool with a hip injury but, if he is declared fit tomorrow, he is in line to face the Spanish side.
The game will be Everton's first at Goodison Park in pre-season and Lescott can expect a hot reception from fans angry at a summer-long saga over whether he will be allowed to join Mark Hughes' City revolution.
Lescott has told boss David Moyes he would like to quit the club but stopped short of making a formal transfer request.
Everton had insisted they would not even accept a £30m bid for Lescott from City but the player's declared desire to leave will certainly weaken that position should Hughes return with a third bid.
Everton's pre-season build-up has not been impressive, with one win in six friendlies, and the Lescott situation has clearly unsettled the club.
Moyes has been critical of the players' attitude and will demand a much better showing against Malaga.
He has injury problems involving Steven Pienaar (thigh), Brazilian striker Jo (ankle) and Marouane Fellaini (virus).
And the latest worry for Moyes is striker Louis Saha's asthma problem. The Frenchman was not included against Coventry or Blackpool.
Moyes describes it as not a serious problem but one that "needs to get sorted out".
He added: "Louis has been looking sharper and better than he's ever been in his time here and I really hope that he can keep it up. In the main, you could see that his confidence has been improving all the time.
"I have certainly seen a much fitter Louis Saha since he returned to training last month, and we just hope that we can get back into the side quickly.
"He needed to get through the first few weeks of pre-season without any trouble.
"He has done really well and we are not too worried about this matter. He has gone about his work really well and it has been pleasing to see.
"He has improved all the time and improved his fitness. He has got the kind of ability that many players wish for and a lot of managers will vouch for that. We want to see it in abundance."Reuse content