Carsley leaves Toffees
Everton have released midfielder Lee Carsley as he seeks a return to the Midlands.
Last Updated: 19/05/08 4:17pm
Everton have released midfielder Lee Carsley after he turned down a new deal at Goodison Park.
Carsley's contract was due to expire this summer and the Republic of Ireland international has decided against extending his stay on Merseyside.
The tough-tackling midfielder has decided to leave to move closer to his Midlands home and his family with Birmingham and Derby both thought to be keen on signing him.
Toffees boss David Moyes paid tribute to Carsley for his contribution to the club during his time at Goodison Park.
"I'd like to thank Lee Carsley for his years at Everton Football Club. He has undoubtedly been a big part in our success in the last few seasons," Moyes told the club's official website.
"Lee feels he now needs to be closer to his family and everyone at the club fully appreciates that.
"We'd like to thank him he's been a fantastic player on and off the field and he goes with my best wishes and we wish him all the best in the future."
Moyes has been linked with a move for Bordeaux's Alou Diarra as a replacement for Carsley.
Diarra is a former Liverpool player who never made a first-team appearance at Anfield, but he has since established himself as a French international.
Everton could face a battle to sign Diarra with Bordeaux able to offer the player the chance to play in the UEFA Champions League next season.