Everton defender Joleon Lescott is this afternoon expected to hand in a transfer request in a bid to prompt a £20m move to Manchester City.
City have had two bids - the latest for £19m - turned down by the Merseyside club with Everton telling them that the young England international is not for sale.
But Sportsmail understands that Lescott was this morning in the process of formally writing to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright to make it clear that he wants to leave, even if it means waiving his rights to a pay-off.
Ian Ladyman appears to be out on his own in reporting this at present, so it is difficult to gage how much susbtance to lend this story.
It would also be a slight departure from the mornings reports which suggested we were ready to move on from Lescott, with Distin, Bassong and Alex believed to be on our radar.
I've said all along that for Everton to sell, it would take Lescott to force the issue and if he does hand the transfer request all that remains will be to (finally) settle on a fee - something that would then be in our favour had Lescott formally announced his desire to leave.
Still expect the final figure to be in excess of £20 million though.
James Ducker in The Times is now reporting this to be the case, although he does suggest it is far from assured Everton will grant his request, something of a gamble therefore for Lescott:
Lescott informed David Moyes, the Everton manager, on Monday that he wanted to join City and spent the evening was writing to Bill Kenwright, the chairman, to explain his motives.
It is a huge gamble by Lescott given that there were no guarantees that Kenwright will agree to let him go or that an improved bid from City will be accepted, which raises the prospect of the England defender being deemed an outcast in the event that he is kept at Goodison Park against his wishes.
City are expected to make a third and final offer of up to £22 million and remain optimistic that an agreement will be reached, believing that Everton will not want to keep a player who does not want to play for them, but that fee still falls well short of Everton’s £30 million valuation.