Joleon Lescott is set to become the centre of a summer transfer battle this summer.
Having been recalled to the England squad for the qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, the Manchester City centre-back has become a wanted man.
With the Citizens captain Vincent Kompany absent through injury since January, many expected to see more of Lescott at the heart of the City defence.
But he has barely featured for them, with the like of Kolo Toure and Matija Nastasic preferred ahead of him in Kompany's absence. Even midfielder Javi Garcia has played in defence, bringing speculation about the future of Lescott.
Having splashed around £24million on Lescott in 2009, reports have suggested that he could cost potential buyers around £4million come the summer, and maybe less should he still sit on the sidelines for the remainder of the season.
Lescott had a brilliant spell with Everton when he joined from Wolverhampton Wanderers, and a return to Goodison Park has been mentioned as a possibility. Having been somewhat of a fans favourite on Merseyside, Lescott upset the Toffee's fans when he handed in a formal transfer request following two rejected bids from Manchester City.
Having forced through the move four years ago, it remains to be seen whether the Everton faithful would welcome him back considering the circumstances in which he left. And with the likes of Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines as part of a consistent Everton defensive line, whether he would be required remains a question also, should any return be on the cards.
Aston Villa were rumoured to be interested in Lescott in January, but a move for him in the summer will depend on whether they survive in the English top flight. Having suffered from huge defensive issues, experience being the major one, Villa could use Lescott. Having such a young squad, the lack of experience has been visible for all to see this season.
Young defenders such as Joe Bennett and Ciaran Clark have potential, but have lacked that seasoned Premier League defender alongside them this season. Ron Vlaar has experience on the continent but his lack in the Premier League has seen Villa leaking goals this season. There is no doubt that Lescott would be an ideal solution for the Villans and Paul Lambert, but this will all hinge on if they can survive this season and stay in the Premier League.
Having been such a consistent performer in the Premier League for a number of seasons, his omission from the City side has been a surprise to many. But should he move on at the end of the season, he will be a wanted man.
Clubs such as Aston Villa can offer the England international the first-team football that he still deserves.
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