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Aug 24, 2009

Moyes: Replacing Lescott will be tough

Everton manager David Moyes will step up his search for a new centre-back with Joleon Lescott's move to Manchester City edging closer, although claims that it will be hard to find a replacement for the England international before the transfer window closes.

Lescott has udnergone a medical, after the clubs agreed a fee believed to be in the region of £24m and Moyes criticised the Eastlands club, bankrolled by Abu Dhabi's multi-millionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, for not coming up with the cash sooner after two previous bids were rejected.

• Lescott the real winner in City deal

He has complained about the time he has left to find an adequate replacement at the right price and, after his side lost 1-0 at Burnley on Sunday with Phil Neville playing as a makeshift centre-back, finding a new player is even more important.

''It definitely needs freshening up. We will try to do that and make a go of it this week,'' he said. ''We shouldn't have been asked to wait this length of time for an amount of cash we think was the correct value for the player.

''Real Madrid came in with the money (£80m for Cristiano Ronaldo) for Manchester United the week after the end of the season.

''If the money had been offered in June it would have been a lot easier for us.

''The time is against us (to find a replacement). You can always spend money if you pay the right prices. The hard part is it will be expensive.''

Moyes has targeted Stoke's Ryan Shawcross, Arsenal's Philippe Senderos and Newcastle's Steven Taylor to replace Lescott, but Lokomotiv Moscow attacking midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, 24, should be first of his new signings as he nears on a £10m switch.

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