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August 21, 2009

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Lescott's Everton days numbered

EVERTON has dropped England defender Joleon Lescott from the squad for the Europa League clash with Sigma Olomouc, disappointed manager David Moyes said on Wednesday.

The decision appears to have brought Lescott's departure to Premier League rival Manchester City closer even though two approaches for the player have been rejected.

Moyes said the 27-year-old was not in his plans for the first-leg playoff tie at home to the Czech side because he was disappointed by his attitude following Saturday's 1-6 home defeat by Arsenal on the opening day of the season.

Lescott handed in a transfer request after two attempts by City to sign him were rejected by Everton before the match.

City manager Mark Hughes, appearing at a news conference after his side's 1-0 win over Barcelona at the Nou Camp later on Wednesday, was reluctant to comment.

"At the moment he's an Everton player and we fully respect that," he said. "There's nothing more to add at the moment."

Everton said on its Website that Lescott did not train with the first team on Wednesday.

Moyes added: "I'm not including Joleon Lescott in the squad. His attitude in the past few days has been poor and for that reason I won't include him. I've always thought he was a good lad. But I think he has not only let himself down but his teammates too."

Lescott's omission means Joseph Yobo is the only fit and available senior central defender in the squad.

Phil Neville and Jack Rodwell played in central defence in pre-season games against Coventry City, Blackpool and Malaga.


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