Manchester City have responded to David Moyes' public insistence that he will not sell Joleon Lescott by trying to call the Everton manager's bluff with a first official offer for the player. The Eastlands club made a bid of £15m this afternoon.
The offer is likely to be rejected but Everton are aware that City have the financial muscle to follow up with an improved financial package. The biggest spenders in the English game have been encouraged to think that Lescott is keen to join a club who seem determined to buy their way into the Champions League.
When news of interest in Lescott was first reported, it was quickly dismissed then by Everton but at the time I wrote that if Lescott marches into David Moyes' office and demands a move, there is little that Moyes realistically can do to prevent him going. Such is the way with football in these times.
Whilst money will be a factor for Lescott, like Gareth Barry before him he will have to decide if perhaps his present club have reached a limit on what they can achieve in the league (and this is not to diminish what Everton have achieved in recent seasons) and that the possibility of Champions League will be more likely attained with ourselves.
I'm not sure where this leaves any interest with John Terry, but I would suspect Mark Hughes would dearly love Terry and Lescott as his partnership next season. It does seem Terry is on Chelsea's pre-season trip to the USA, and although Peter Kenyon re-iterated that he is not for sale I don't get the feeling the door has been entirely closed on this.