Everton are bracing themselves for another bid from Manchester City for Joleon Lescott, but insist that they will not sell the England defender, even for £30m.
Lescott arrived back from the club's tour of Canada and the US yesterday and is expected to play away at Coventry City in tomorrow's pre-season friendly. Everton have turned down bids of £15m and £18m, but there is expected to be a £22m offer from City on the table shortly.
However, sources at Goodison Park are making it clear that their attitude has hardened over the issue to the extent that even a bid approaching £30m would be rejected. Lescott is also now aware that the only way that stance will change is if he asks for a transfer.
The chairman Bill Kenwright and the manager David Moyes have been adamant all summer that 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 at the club underline that they are under no pressure from the banks to sell players, as has been the case in the past.
Moyes has returned from the US keen to concentrate on his side's build-up to the season, staring with tomorrow's match with Coventry, and he has two more friendlies next week away to 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. Moyes was delighted by the form of goalkeeper Tim Howard, who was named the Most Valuable Player after the game.