Everton striker Jo faces £70,000 fine after flying back to Brazil without permission

Jo is facing a £70,000 fine after going missing from Goodison Park over Christmas - even though Everton do not pay his wages.

In an indication of Manchester City’s desperation to sign Joleon Lescott last August, it has emerged that they agreed to a request from Everton to keep Jo for a second season on loan without contributing to his £35,000-a-week salary.

Everton's Joao Alves Jo (second left) and Stoke City's Ryan Shawcross

Disciplined: Everton striker Jo (left) has been suspended by the club

Lescott completed his protracted £22million move to Eastlands, once the condition was met, but Jo looks to be heading back to City ahead of schedule after being suspended by Everton on Friday.

The Brazil striker, who has almost certainly made his last appearance for Everton, flew to Rio de Janeiro without permission just before Christmas and was told to stay away from Goodison Park after returning to England a week later.

It is understood he has gone AWOL on at least one previous occasion, and manager David Moyes is adamant there should be no further opportunities to test his patience.

Mindful that Ayegbeni Yakubu reported back late from international duty nearly two years ago, Moyes is wary of allowing any further ill-discipline to creep into his squad and determined Jo’s loan spell be cut short.

Though they do not pay any of Jo’s wages, Everton are also believed to be exploring ways of convincing City they are within their rights to dock him a fortnight’s money, following his unauthorised trip home.

The 22-year-old claimed he had a pressing personal matter to attend to, but Moyes was furious at not being consulted, particularly as Everton are depleted up front.

While negotiations continue with City over a possible punishment and curtailing the loan deal, Moyes chose his words carefully as he said: ‘Jo went back to Brazil without permission from the club. He is now back, but, at the moment, he is suspended.

‘I am disappointed, because we like Jo. He has been a really good lad, and we have enjoyed having him, but there has to be discipline. He left during a busy period for us, and he left us short of players, so I find that very difficult to accept. It is just a short-term thing at the moment, and that could change over the coming weeks, but, for now, that is the situation.

‘He went for his own personal reasons, and really that is all I want to say.’

With Yakubu having left for the Africa Cup of Nations and Louis Saha doubtful with a hamstring injury, Moyes may have to promote James Vaughan from the bench against Carlisle in the FA Cup on Saturday, even though the England Under 21 striker is short of fitness.

You must be Jo-king: Everton's striker in a typically expressive pose

Under fire: Jo has been performing badly on and off the pitch

On-loan midfielder Landon Donovan is expected to be at the game as a spectator and could make his debut next week.

Moyes is prepared to welcome back his former assistant Alan Irvine to the club on a temporary basis until he finds another job.

Irvine was dismissed by Coca-Cola Championship side Preston earlier this week. Moyes was stunned by the news and told his fellow Scot he could do some coaching at Finch Farm in the interim.

‘I was with Alan last night and I have said to him he is welcome to come in,’ said Moyes, who learned his trade at Preston.

‘He is a student of the game and won’t sit at home. I was really disappointed for Alan. He was my assistant for a long time. I am also friendly with the people at Preston as well. So it was a shock to me as I think it was to everyone in football.

‘Alan has done such a good job he will undoubtedly work again. It would not surprise me if he gets one of the big jobs going around at the moment.'

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