Manchester City have found selling players as difficult as winning the Pro Evolution Soccer Master League with the original squad of Castolo, Ximelez and co in recent seasons and nothing is set to change for Manuel Pellegrini as he looks to offload Joleon Lescott.
It is no secret that Lescott is not one of the first names on Pellegrini’s teamsheet this season, as he has still only started five Premier League games, despite injuries troubling Man City’s backline.
Midfielder Javi Garcia has regularly started at Lescott’s expense, while Martin Demichelis has now become the regular partner of Matija Nastasic, while Vincent Kompany continues to recover from injury.
Lescott’s big problem appears to be his weaknesses when in possession, looking uncomfortable on the ball and rarely doing more than pass to a fellow defender.
However, he does still have plenty to offer in a traditional defender sense and could certainly do a job at a mid-table Premier League club.
The problem he has, which is something that has been a somewhat regular occurrence for Manchester City since being taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group in the summer of 2008, is clubs meeting his wage demands.
The likes of Wayne Bridge, Roque Santa Cruz, Gareth Barry and Emmanuel Adebayor have arrived on bumper pay packets that other clubs aren’t willing to take on when these types of players fall out of favour.
Bridge was sent on loan three times before signing for Reading, Santa Cruz also had three stints elsewhere before joining Malaga on a permanent deal and there is speculation that Man City are still contributing to Adebayor’s wages, despite selling him to Tottenham.
Lescott is thought to be on about £90,000 a week and this gives City a dilemma, as the 31-year-old is out of contract in the summer and so the club could clear his wages entirely, or they could try to sell him in January and at least recoup some of their £22m outlay to Everton.
It was Mark Hughes that spent this sum and much in the same way that Jermain Defoe’s career has chiefly followed that of Harry Redknapp, Lescott could re-unite with his former boss at Stoke.
A £2m deal is thought to be a possibility and although this is an amount City would probably accept, agreeing the personal terms will be much tougher.
Stoke’s odds are 5/1 to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season and a defender of Lescott’s quality and experience, especially for a team more prone than most to get the ball forward quickly, could be a big asset in this quest.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim three £10 free bets when you bet £10.