Moyes admits to Neill shortfall
Everton boss David Moyes admits Lucas Neill's impending departure could leave him short at the back for a little while.
Last Updated: 16/01/10 9:37am
Everton boss David Moyes admits Lucas Neill's impending departure will leave him short at the back for a little while.
The Australia international is set to join Galatasaray on Sunday after the Turkish side made a £750,000 bid for the player.
While Moyes believes it will leave him short at the back for a short while until injured players return, he could not stand in the way of Neill securing a longer term deal than the one he is presently on at Everton.
But the defender is still available for selection for Saturday's game against Manchester City and Moyes confirmed that the 31-year-old could feature.
He said: "I wouldn't be optimistic about replacing anybody because I think it's a difficult market.
"I certainly won't talk about players at other clubs because that's not the right thing to do, but I wouldn't be confident that we would be able to get a replacement in.
"It could leave us a gap, certainly in the short term. Joseph Yobo could be back in a couple of weeks time and Phil Jagielka's not too far away on the horizon, but maybe in the short term it may leave me short.
"But over the piece, I think if I get over the next couple of weeks then I think I would be okay."
He added: "Lucas will be here on Saturday and will possibly play, so his deal's not completely finalised, albeit we have agreed terms and Lucas has agreed terms.
"It was an opportunity for the lad that came about - I think he was very surprised about it and we were surprised also.
"We only heard about it on Sunday, so from that point of view it moved on very quickly.
"But I think with the chance for the lad to get a contract for a couple of years, we had to give him the opportunity to see if he wanted it or not. He's done great for us and I'll be sad if he leaves, but he'll go with my best wishes."
Neill was a free agent when he signed for the Toffees in September after leaving West Ham and Moyes believes the deal suited both parties.
He added: "Everton have promoted Lucas. He got in the team here, played and shown his worth and we always knew he was a good player.
"He'd been out of business for a while in the summertime and into the start of the new season. But I think for both parties, hopefully it all worked well."