Manchester United could do a lot worse than snap up Manchester City outcast Joleon Lescott this summer.
The 31-year-old defender - who will be out of contract at the end of the season - has openly admitted he's now playing to impress potential suitors, ahead of his anticipated exit from the Etihad Stadium.
However, there's no reason to suggest that Lescott's best years are behind him, nor that he necessarily needs to take a step down from the standard of club he has been a part of since 2009.
With Manchester United set to lose Nemanja Vidic, and doubts also surrounding the long-term future of Rio Ferdinand, David Moyes would be left with Jonny Evans as his most senior centre-back at Old Trafford.
Chris Smalling is yet to instil any real confidence in fans that have already questioned his capability of playing at the top level, and Phil Jones continues to imitate the underwhelming image of former Red Devils utility man John O'Shea, fast-becoming a 'jack-of-all' trades, and master of none.
Despite Sir Alex Ferguson's high praise for the former Blackburn Rovers man when he first joined the Premier League champions, Jones has been unconvincing at the heart of Manchester United's defence, playing better at full-back or in a more advanced midfield position.
Lescott, meanwhile, is an already accomplished stopper with plenty of big-game experience from his five years playing at Manchester City, and would be a risk-free free transfer addition this summer.
It's also worth remembering that the former Everton star enjoyed arguably his greatest years under the guidance of Moyes at Goodison Park, which earned him his £22million move to the Citizens. There's no reason why Lescott wouldn't thrive again under the Scot, this time at Old Trafford.
"My days at City are numbered but there is no bad feeling," he was quoted by the Daily Express. "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."
Manuel Pellegrini's continued omission of Lescott remains puzzling, particularly when preferring to play the increasingly erratic Martin Demichelis at Manchester City. But, that should not influence perception of the competent England international.
Manchester United fans must learn from the debacle that surrounded their club during the previous summer transfer window, and relinquish any arrogance that still remains when it comes to the quality of players they are targeting.
Lescott might be short-term fix, but he is a fix nonetheless, and would improve Moyes's options in central defence next season without costing the club anything in terms of a transfer fee.