PORTUGUESE Under-21 striker Joao Silva has left Everton for Levski Sofia for an undisclosed fee – without making a first team appearance.
The six feet two inch forward spent two years at Goodison after joining from Portuguese second division side CD Aves in June 2010.
He arrived with a promising reputation after scoring 14 goals in 32 appearances in his homeland.
But while he had a squad number last season, he never featured for the senior side – scoring two goals in six reserve team starts.
He joins James Wallace (Tranmere) and Adam Forshaw (Brentford) out of Goodison this summer, while Jose Baxter could soon follow.
Baxter has rejected a contract offer from the Blues and Crystal Palace are among a series of Championship clubs interested in signing him.
Blues officials, meanwhile, say they are ‘bemused’ by comments from veteran Portuguese striker Nuno Gomes that he rejected a move to Goodison in favour of relegated Blackburn Rovers.
The 36-year-old signed a two-year deal at Ewood Park last week and revealed he turned down several other offers, including one from Premier League Everton. He said: “The talks began two weeks ago. It was quite fast. I had other offers, even from Everton from the Premier League, but everyone here made me feel at home. That was very important for me.
“I had offers from Braga and also Benfica, but wanted to play in England. I had some talks with guys from the MLS and from Everton, but the guys from Rovers convinced me.”
Everton, however, remain mystified about their apparent “interest.”
The Blues returned from their Austrian training camp last night and will prepare for the first pre-season friendly of the summer this weekend at Morecambe.
Everton will wear their new home strip for 2012/13 for the first time at the Globe Arena on Saturday (kick-off 2pm).
Newcastle’s former Tranmere full-back Ryan Taylor, meanwhile, has tipped the Blues to build on last season’s strong finish to the Premier League campaign.
Taylor was in the Newcastle side beaten by the Blues on the final day of the season and faces an early return to Merseyside for the Blues second home match. He said: “I am sure a few teams will have better seasons, the likes of Aston Villa and Stoke. Stoke obviously played in Europe last season, a big distraction. They are always there and thereabouts, a big, strong team.
“We played Everton in the last game and they looked very strong, and if they get off to a good start, they can push on.”