Villa lead Lescott chase

Aston Villa are leading the race to sign Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott this summer. The versatile defender is available on a free transfer this summer after being told by Manchester City that he won’t be given a new deal when his current contract expires next month.

Following the news that current owner Randy Lerner has put the club up for sale, Villa manager Paul Lambert is heading into this summer’s transfer market without knowing how much movement he will be allowed to make. Despite admitting the uncertainty regarding the club made his job this summer tougher, Lambert insisted the size of the club still made Villa a tempting option for potential signings.

“This club’s name alone will be half your selling point. Aston Villa will still attract big players. It has everything, it just needs that stability of what direction it’s going to go in,” Lambert said.  Theyhave been >tipped by Betfair punters to be in poll position to sign Lescott

“It’s up to me to go and get players I think this club deserves. Everything is open because of the ‘for sale’ aspect of it.”

Regardless of the off-field uncertainty, Lambert’s main focus will no doubt be on improving a defence which conceded 61 goals last season, the fourth worst in the Premier League. Despite being on a reported £90,000 a week at the Etihad, Lescott has apparently told Villa he would lower his demands in order to sign for the club he supported as a boy.

After playing a key role in City’s success since his arrival in 2009, Lescott failed to establish himself under Manuel Pellegrini last season, making just eight league appearances for the club as they reclaimed the Premier League crown from city rivals, United. The defender has been linked with Betfair with a number of European clubs since Christmas, but it looks as though his affinity with Villa could play a part in Lescott’s next move.