David Moyes has played down Joleon Lescott's absence against Coventry City, stating the Everton ace was injured.
The England international was a notable absentee from the Toffees' 2-2 pre-season draw with Coventry on Sunday.
Manchester City have already seen two lofty bids for the 26-year-old defender rejected by Everton this summer.
Speculation increased a deal could be nearing completion following Lescott's absence at the weekend, although Moyes puts that down to a hip injury.
The Toffees boss says the former Wolves man picked up a hip injury on the club's pre-season trip to the United States and that he did not want to risk him against the Sky Blues.
"Joleon picked up a hip injury is America so we probabley don't expect him to be fit until the end of the week," explained Moyes.
"He didn't travel with us, why would I bring an injured player?"