Manchester United are reported to be considering a shock summer transfer approach for out-of-favour Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott, with the England international facing an uncertain future at the Etihad Stadium.
According to The Sun, Manchester United are monitoring the situation of Lescott, who has made only 21 appearances for City this season, while his contract with the Blues is set to expire at the end of next term.
The 30-year-old, who joined Manchester City from Everton for £24 million in 2009, played a prominent role in landing the Premier League title for the club last season, but now finds himself as back-up to first choice central pairing Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastacic.
Manchester United, then, could be prepared to offer the England centre-back a route out of Manchester City, as Sir Alex Ferguson scours the market for potential defensive reinforcements.
The Premier League champions have suffered injury problems at the back this season, with captain Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling missing significant parts of the campaign, while Rio Ferdinand has to be managed more carefully in the twilight of his career.
Ferdinand is out of contract in the summer, although is expected to stay at Old Trafford for at least another year, and Lescott could seemingly be acquired to add more experience to the Manchester United defence in preparation for the departure of the former.
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