Everton close in on Elm

20 July 2009 05:19
Everton were closing in on a deal to sign Sweden international Rasmus Elm as Manchester City target Joleon Lescott jetted off with his team-mates to the club's training base in the United States on Monday. Elm, who has also attracted the interest of Fulham, was given a guided tour of Everton's Finch Farm training ground last week and has since returned home as the Toffees prepare to tie-up a deal for the 21-year-old Kalmar midfielder, who has won nine caps for his country. While Elm's expected arrival in the coming days will swell Everton's first-team ranks, the Toffees remain determined to retain the services of highly-rated England defender Lescott. The Liverpool club turned down a £15million bid from City on Friday but are braced for the big-spending Eastlands outfit to return to the negotiating table with an increased offer. For the moment, however, Lescott remains an Everton player and is heading for Seattle and a week-long training camp ahead of a pre-season friendly against River Plate in Edmonton, Canada on Sunday. Manager David Moyes has been steadfast in his refusal to entertain offers for his big-name stars this summer, and it is believed it would take an offer in the region of £30million for the Scot to part company with the former Wolves player. Everton fans made their feelings on the matter abundantly clear during Saturday's friendly at Rochdale, chanting Lescott's name throughout the comfortable 4-1 victory, while full-back Leighton Baines has revealed the rest of the squad are keen for Lescott to stay at Goodison Park. "Absolutely we want Joleon to stay," said the former Wigan defender. "I do not think anyone would want a player like Joleon to leave. "The manager has said that and it was good to see the fans showing their appreciation for him as well because he has done so well for the club over the last few years. "He showed with his performance that his mind is not elsewhere and he is fully focused on what he's doing here at Everton at the moment. That's great."

Source: Eurosport