Premier League champions Manchester City are reportedly looking to push through a January transfer for out-of-favour England international Joleon Lescott. The 30-year-old centre-back moved to the Etihad for £24m in 2010 but The Sun reports City will release the player for £8m next month.
Lescott was a key member of City's title-winning side last season, forming a solid partnership with Belgian international Vincent Kompany at the heart of Roberto Mancini's defence. The former Everton player made 30 league starts and 45 appearances in all competitions, scoring three times and even setting up one goal.
However, injuries, poor form and the confident performances by summer signing Matija Nastasic have meant Lescott has made only seven league starts this campaign and 13 appearances overall. Perhaps the clearest indication that his Etihad career is coming to an end was in the Manchester derby in early December, when Mancini preferred Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure to Lescott, when a substitute was needed for Kompany.
The Mirror reported on the possibility of the defender returning to Goodison Park on loan for the rest of the season. David Moyes' side are in excellent shape in the league so far, with fifth place and the prospect of European football firmly in their sights. However, the Toffees' first team could do with reinforcements in January and Lescott may be a perfect defensive addition.
The only issue is the player is on a £90,000 per week deal with the champions and Everton cannot afford that salary; therefore, either Lescott needs to take a pay cut or City must work out a wage-share deal similar to that which saw Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor move on loan to Tottenham last season.
Meanwhile, The Sun's report also reveals interest in Lescott from Turkish side Galatasaray and Premier League relegation candidates QPR. The Loftus Road club are managed by former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and the possibility of remaining in England will no doubt attract Lescott.