Distin: First team football imperative

Everton defender Sylvain Distin says he opted to join David Moyes' men in order to play regular first team football.

The 31-year-old centre-back made 77 league appearances for Portsmouth after arriving from Manchester City in 2007, helping the south coast club achieve FA Cup glory a year later.

But with prize assets Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Lassana Diarra, Sol Campbell and Glen Johnson having followed Harry Redknapp out of the Fratton Park door, Distin became increasingly keen on joining them, with City, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Sunderland and Everton all linked with his signature.

The Toffees eventually won the battle for the Frenchman's signature as the summer transfer window slammed shut.

And the former Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle stopper has revealed that he decided against moves to both Liverpool and, former employers City, as he feared that he would often be left to look on from the substitutes' bench.

"I read about some interest from City. But when I saw the kind of names they were signing, if I went back I'd be on the bench," he told skysports.com.

"It was not what you might call in England 'my cup of tea'.

"It's the same with Liverpool who were interested. I didn't want to be a squad player."