Phil Neville sees a career at the 'top level' after Everton

Everton stalwart Phil Neville is leaving the club this summer. Photo: PA

Everton captain Phil Neville has emphasised his desire to continue playing at the "top level" for as long as he can after he departs the club this summer.

Neville announced on Tuesday that he is to leave the Toffees - who he joined from Manchester United in 2005 - when his current deal expires at the end of the season.

In June, the 36-year-old will work as part of Stuart Pearce's England Under-21s backroom staff at the European Championship in Israel, having previously done so for the Young Lions' qualifier against Belgium in February 2012.

But that does not mean the defender is looking to hang up his boots any time soon.

Neville, in a statement released to Press Association Sport, 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 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."

Former Everton defender Andy Hinchcliffe sees a Barclays Premier League side currently below sixth-placed Everton in the table as a realistic destination for Neville, and believes he may take on some coaching duties at whichever club he plays for next.

"I'm sure there are plenty of clubs in the Premier League that will look at him," Hinchcliffe told Sky Sports News.

"But I think it would be a struggle for him to move upwards - I think you are probably looking at teams that are currently below Everton in the league.

"When he moves on, I would not be surprised if it is not all about playing for Phil.

"He wants to play for another two or three years and if he is fit enough to do it, then great.

"But I think he will start to think about the coaching side of things, especially with him being away in the summer in Israel with England Under-21s."

David Moyes, Everton's manager since 2002, is also out of contract in the summer and does not intend to make a decision about a new one until the season has finished - something Hinchcliffe feels could well have figured prominently in Neville's thinking.

"It is a very uncertain summer ahead for Everton I think," Hinchcliffe said.

"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."

Neville, who has won 59 England caps, joined United as a trainee in 1993, made his debut for them in January 1995 and won six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the European Cup with the Red Devils.

Following his move to Everton in August 2005, he became skipper at Goodison Park when David Weir left the club in January 2007, and he has made over 300 appearances for the Toffees.