The 33-year-old Baggies defender has reportedly already agreed to terms on a two-year deal at Villa Park.
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has admitted to the Telegraph that he is a big fan of Joleon Lescott, amid the newspaper reporting that the West Bromwich Albion defender is on the verge of a £1.5 million switch across the Midlands.
Lescott, 33, only joined West Brom last summer after leaving Manchester City on a free transfer, but the veteran centre-back has dropped to the bench since the start of the season after becoming embroiled in a contract dispute with the club.
The former England international, whose current deal expires in 2016, has continued to be linked with a move to Villa in recent weeks as Sherwood chases further defensive additions, but the Baggies had been holding firm in their refusal to left him leave [h/t Sky Sports].
However, Tony Pulis’ side are now believed to have lined up Manchester United’s Jonny Evans as a replacement in a £6 million transfer, rising to £8 million with add-ons, which will clear a path for Lescott to join their rivals ahead of the transfer deadline [h/t Daily Mail].
A boyhood Villa fan, the ex-Everton man is reportedly set to sign a two-year contract with the club and Sherwood believes that both his experience and claret and blue ties would make him a valuable member the squad.
“Joleon is a player who would be attractive to a lot of teams because of what he gives you on the experience level,” he told the Telegraph. “I’ve always said you only support the team you play for and that’s only right and what the supporters demand, but you always want to play for your boyhood team in the end.
“If it becomes an opportunity for someone to do that, then fantastic, but Joleon Lescott isn’t our player. I know myself how difficult it is to deal with West Brom [who interviewed him twice for the head coaching position]…”
|2014-15 Premier League||Team||Clean Sheets||Tackles GAME||Tackle Accuracy||Clearances GAME||Headers Won GAME||Header Success||Interceptions GAME||Passing Accuracy||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Ciaran Clark||Aston Villa||1||1.56||87%||8||3.04||65%||1.88||79%||25||1,991|
|Joleon Lescott||West Brom||15||1.68||81%||5.91||2.12||61%||2.15||77%||34||3,060|
|Jores Okore||Aston Villa||4||2.22||75%||6.48||2.09||56%||2.83||86%||23||2,009|
|Nathan Baker||Aston Villa||1||1.27||71%||9.27||3.36||59%||1.64||77%||11||763|
|Philippe Senderos||Aston Villa||3||0.88||43%||6||0.75||46%||1.13||82%||8||632|
Lescott made 34 league appearances for West Brom last season, as the team recorded 15 clean sheets with him in the side – a number only bettered by Chelsea trio John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic.
Nevertheless, despite his impressive 2014-15 campaign, the Birmingham-born defender is still no guarantee to be a regular starter at Villa.
Micah Richards is entrenched in the line-up as team captain, meaning he will have to beat out fellow left-sided stopper Ciaran Clark for a starting spot – a task which will prove far from straightforward if the former trainee keeps up his stellar form from last term.
In addition, while the experienced Philippe Senderos is rumoured to heading for an imminent departure, promising backups Jores Okore and Nathan Baker will also provide strong competition for minutes if the pair can keep off the treatment table going forward.
However, there is little doubt that Lescott’s substantial top-flight experience would be a welcome addition to Villa’s fledgling squad and, given his support for the club, it should not be hard for him to endear himself to supporters should he indeed arrive.