Joleon Lescott looks to future as Man City contract runs down
Joleon Lescott feels he is in “the shop window” as every game he plays for 5/4 Premier League title favourites Manchester City is one where he hopes to attract a new team for next season.
The 31-year-old England international is out of contract at the Etihad this summer and it has been made clear to him that he will not be offered a new deal.
“My days at City are numbered,” Lescott said, “but there is no bad feeling. I’ve known for a while but there is no resentment.
“I know my contract won’t be renewed, so every performance I’ve put in this season has been like being in the shop window. Hopefully someone is watching and wants to sign me.”
Several Premier League teams, including London sides West Ham, Tottenham and Fulham, Newcastle United and former club Everton, have been linked to chasing Lescott’s signature this summer.
Fulham must preserve their top-flight status under Felix Magath before he is likely to consider targets for next term. A return to Everton for Lescott appears ideal as Sylvain Distin, despite signing a one-year contract extension in January, has ageing legs.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez also has Paraguay international Antolin Alcaraz and teenager John Stones to play alongside skipper Phil Jagielka at the back at Goodison Park. Alcaraz has struggled with injuries, so a summer swoop for Lescott would bring back another experienced name to Everton’s books.
City manager Manuel Pellegrini has used Lescott sparingly this season, preferring faithful retainer Martin Demichelis, who worked with the Chilean at Malaga last term, or young Matija Nastasic to partner club captain Vincent Kompany in defence.
A consequence of largely leaving Lescott on the bench for Premier League games has been losing his place in the England squad. That in turn has put his spot on Roy Hodgson’s 23-man World Cup roster in jeopardy. Lescott is 5/2 to make the plane to Brazil.
“I wouldn’t rule out a move abroad,” he continued. “I need to weigh up options and see what is best for me and my family.”
Turkish giants Besiktas, coached by former Croatia boss and ex-Everton defender Slaven Bilic, are also rumoured to be interested in Lescott. He has made just 20 appearances for City in all competitions this term, but has been an ever-present in domestic cups.
Lescott will be looking to keep that run going in the Capital One cup final on March 2nd. City are odds-on 1/6 favourites to win their first silverware of the season against Sunderland at Wembley.