By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer
Everton are ready to enter the race for Manchester United's Alan Smith if he is allowed to leave Old Trafford.
Smith joined United from Leeds for £7m in 2004
Smith, 26, has two years left on his current deal but is expected to be sold before the start of the season.
Middlesbrough are understood to have offered £6m, while Sunderland and Spurs have also been linked with Smith.
Everton boss David Moyes has him on a list of potential transfer targets that also includes Sheffield United's Phil Jagielka and West Brom's Jason Koumas.
Moyes' attempts to buy Smith would be improved if he can sell struggling striker James Beattie.
Smith battled back from a broken leg to play last season, but the expected offer of a new deal at Old Trafford has not materialised.
United team-mate Kieran Richardson is also a possible target for Moyes as he attempts to strengthen his squad before the start of the new season.
Smith said recently: "If the manager tells me he wants me, I'm there for him. If he doesn't, it's time to move on.
"If you're no longer wanted, then you have to consider your options. I want to be out there from the start."
He revealed his future now lay in Ferguson's hands, saying: "If they are going to sell me, I'd like to know. But I won't find out unless I get to speak to the manager."
Smith was signed from Leeds United for £7m three years ago.
He battled back from serious injury to play last season and also win an England recall, and now wants regular action.