Arsenal Plot Surprise January Move to Sign Man City Defender

Gunners to compete with Everton and Aston Villa for experienced centre-back.

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Arsenal could make a surprise move for out-of-favour Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott as he edges closer to an exit from the Etihad Stadium this January, CaughtOffside understands.

The 31-year-old has been thrust into Manuel Pellegrini’s side in recent games due to an injury crisis for the Sky Blues at the back, though it is widely understood that the club will not be looking to offer him a new contract, with his current deal set to expire at the end of this season.

This could see a queue of clubs come in for him when the transfer window re-opens in January, as the experienced centre-back still looks to have plenty to offer after being somewhat unfairly dropped by Roberto Mancini last season.

Lescott was a key part of the City side that won the Premier League title in 2011/12, forming a fine partnership in central defence with Vincent Kompany, though he failed to get as many games last season with Mancini preferring youngster Matija Nastasic to the England international.

He has continued to be viewed as a backup by new manager Pellegrini, and the club are likely to cash in on him in the winter to avoid losing him for free next summer, and Arsenal now seem to be stepping up their interest in signing the former Wolves man.

The Gunners are short of cover defensively at the moment with injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and Per Mertesacker, with right-back Bacary Sagna forced to fill in in the centre on a few occasions already so far this season. Although it was thought that Arsenal might sign a player for this position during the summer, moves for targets such as Ashley Williams and Adil Rami never amounted to anything.

It is now thought that Arsene Wenger will look to address this issue in January, with Freiburg youngster Matthias Ginter also on his radar, though the possibility of landing the vastly experienced Lescott on the cheap may now be a more tempting option.

City will be disappointed to lose a player to a potential title rival, as they fought to keep another Arsenal target, Micah Richards, at the club this summer despite rumoured interest from the Emirates Stadium side.

Lescott would not necessarily favour a move to Arsenal however, as he may see his chances of playing regularly look better at either Everton or Aston Villa, who are also monitoring his situation.

Both clubs are tempting for Lescott, who spent four years at Everton between 2006 and 2010 before moving to City, and who supported his local side Aston Villa as a child.

Arsenal remain positive though that the prospect of Champions League football and a possible title challenge could lure him to the Emirates, even if he would likely be a squad player at the club.

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