Phil Neville is approaching the end of his Everton career.
The former England international left Manchester United for the Toffees in the summer of 2005, in a move which wasn’t initially welcomed by the Goodison Park faithful who were all too aware of the deep ties he had forged at Old Trafford. However, Neville took the decision to embrace the Merseyside club and all its history, and he soon won over his doubters.
The 36-year-old, who became only the seventh player to rack up 500 Premier League appearances when he featured against Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day last year, has represented Everton on 303 occasions, but with his contract set to expire in the summer, he has decided to head elsewhere.
In a statement on the club’s official website on Tuesday, Neville said: “It’s been an honour to play for and captain Everton Football Club. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time on Merseyside and will leave with immense pride. I would like to thank the manager, chairman, all of the staff and the players at Everton for their continued support during my time at the club.
“I’d also like to pay a special thanks to the fans, who have been amazing over the past eight years and Everton will always have a place in my heart. I want to continue to play at the top level as long as I physically can, and will be weighing up my options before making a decision on my next move. I’ll now be doing everything I can to help Everton finish as high up the league table as possible.”
Whilst he will take his time before deciding on his next move, Neville will be involved in the Under-21 European Championships this summer, when he will be part of England’s coaching staff. As a player, he won 59 caps for his country between 1996 and 2007, and was part of the European Championship squads of 1996, 2000 and 2004, although he never made a World Cup squad.
During his time in Manchester, the versatile player won a UEFA Champions League, six Premier League titles and three FA Cups, including the famous Treble of 1999.