Phil Neville to leave Everton at season's end
London: Former England international defender Phil Neville will leave Everton at the end of the season after eight years at the club, he announced on Tuesday.
The versatile 36-year-old, who joined Everton from Manchester United in 2005, said he wanted to continue playing football at the highest level.
"It`s been an honour to play for and captain Everton Football Club," Neville said in a statement published on the club website, www.evertonfc.com.
"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."
It had already been announced that Neville will take up a role with the England Under-21 back-room staff for the European Championships in Israel in June.
Neville`s elder brother, Gary, retired from football in 2011 and currently combines work as a television pundit with a coaching role for the England senior team.
Phil Neville won six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the 1998-99 Champions League during his 10-year spell at United, where he had captained the youth team.
Able to play in both full-back positions or in a defensive midfield role, he has won 59 caps for England and was appointed as Everton`s club captain in January 2007.
He first worked with the England Under-21s when they played against Belgium in February last year and says he is looking forward to repeating the experience.
Speaking about the forthcoming Under-21 European Championship, Neville told the Football Association website earlier this month: "It is a fantastic opportunity for me to work with the best young players at under-21 level.
"I had a little taste of this against Belgium and it was probably the best three days I have had -- it was a real eye-opener. Those three days told me that coaching is what I really want to do."
Former Everton left-back Andy Hinchcliffe believes Neville`s decision to leave the club may owe to uncertainty over the future of manager David Moyes, whose contract expires at the end of the season.
"It is a very uncertain summer ahead for Everton, I think," Hinchcliffe told Sky Sports News.
"David Moyes is not committed to a new contract there, so Phil maybe has had chats with him and he is not really sure what the future holds for Moyes.
"Maybe he can`t really sign a contract and decide to stay at Everton if he doesn`t know who the manager is going to be."