EVERTON are not in the running to sign highly-rated Swansea left-back Neil Taylor although David Moyes’ search for defensive cover continues.
The Blues boss needs cover for first-choice Leighton Baines, but he is not ready to try to scupper Newcastle’s £1m deal for the 22-year-old.
England star Baines was an ever-present for the Toffees in the Premier League last season, but should he pick up an injury the Blues have no specialist left-backs to step into the side.
While Phil Neville and Sylvain Distin can play in that role, Moyes would ideally recruit another left-footed defender.
Taylor (right) has already been to Tyneside to meet Alan Pardew and tour the North East club’s facilities, although the deal has not gone through yet.
Moyes’ over-riding priority remains a new centre forward, and he would rather use any funds at his disposal to put together a financial package capable of attracting a top-class striker.
Meanwhile, Preston boss Phil Brown wants to take Everton goalkeeper Iain Turner back to Deepdale – although it remains in the balance whether the switch will mean current North End keeper Andy Lonergan moving in the opposite direction.
Turner made 17 appearances on loan at Preston next season and is available on a free transfer after failing to reach agreement with the Blues about a new deal.
But Brown can’t afford to accommodate the Scottish under-21 international until he has cut Lonergan’s salary from his wage bill.
Lonergan trained with the Toffees at the end of last season and, with Slovakian international Jan Mucha unhappy at his lack of first team opportunities, Moyes could be ready to bring in another experienced back up to Tim Howard.
Phil Brown said: “Andrew Lonergan has been at the club for a long time, and we’ve discussed it at length that it might be time for him to move on.
“Iain went into talks about a further contract with Everton and came out of there of the firm opinion that he wants to play regular first-team football.
“We are offering him that.
“It's a balancing act – we can't afford to carry both Iain Turner and Andrew Lonergan on the books in League One.”
Albert Johnson, who was understood to have been Everton’s oldest living former player, has died aged 90.
Albert made his debut for the Toffees on Christmas Day 1946 in a 4-1 win over Derby County. An outside right and team-mate of Ted Sagar, Joe Mercer and Harry Catterick, Albert also played for Chesterfield and Witton Albion.
His funeral will take place on Friday July 1 (11am) at St Bede's Roman Catholic Church, Weaverham, Northwich. Donations should be made to Alzheimer’s Research. Cards and flowers should be sent to Mr D Ravey, 5 Moss Street, Weaverham, Northwich, CW8 3NH.