Eric Black backs Rangers-linked Joleon Lescott for Ibrox success, talks up his qualities

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere in action with Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott

Rangers are reportedly set to sign defender Joleon Lescott.

Aston Villa's interim manager Eric BlackEric Black

Southampton assistant manager Eric Black has told the Daily Mail that he thinks Joleon Lescott would be a great success at Rangers.

Lescott, 34, only joined boyhood club Villa last summer, but the former West Brom defender already looks like he's leaving Villa Park after just a year at the club.

Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott in action with Newcastle's Papiss Demba CisseAston Villa's Joleon Lescott in action with Papiss Demba Cisse

The veteran centre back, a former England international, has been frozen out by new Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo following the club's relegation to the Championship, and is free to leave Villa Park.

Few clubs have made moves for Lescott, but he now appears to be heading to Glasgow, with Rangers keen to add the ex-Manchester City star to their squad.

According to the Daily Mail, Lescott held talks with Rangers manager Mark Warburton on Tuesday, and the Gers are believed to be on the verge of completing a deal to sign Lescott once Villa pay up the final year of his £35,000-a-week contract at Villa Park.

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere in action with Aston Villa's Joleon LescottArsenal's Jack Wilshere in action with Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott

Manager Warburton wants more experience in his defence, and whilst he landed Clint Hill on a free transfer earlier this summer, Lescott is now being lined up to bring added solidity to the Rangers back line.

With a deal seemingly close, former Scotland international and Celtic assistant Eric Black - currently working as Southampton's assistant manager - has spoken to the Daily Mail about Lescott, having worked with him at Aston Villa last season.

Black stated that, despite Villa fans criticising Lescott, the defender should be able to cope with life at Rangers, and whilst he thinks Lescott could be surprised by the Old Firm derbies with Celtic, he's backing the centre back for great success at Ibrox.

Southampton's Shane Long in action with Aston Villa's Joleon LescottSouthampton's Shane Long in action with Aston Villa's Joleon Lescott

"I think he will cope absolutely fine with life at Rangers,' said Black, now No 2 to new Southampton boss Claude Puel," said Black. "That will be no problem for him at all. I've got to be honest, I don't see too much fazing him. He's a very level-headed individual and is so experienced. You've got to remember he's played for a lot of big clubs, played in a lot of difficult games."

"I'm sure the Rangers-Celtic game might be a bit of a surprise or an eye-opener, as it always is to everybody. But I think he'll cope very well. I've no doubt about that. Rangers are going to get a top professional, a top individual who is a very experienced and very capable defender."

"He's a guy who trains every day, a player who approaches every session as if it's his first. Joleon has such a brilliant appetite for the game. That will be obvious to anyone who works with him. And he's a good bloke. By that, I mean he's a leader in the dressing room. I found him great to work with at Villa," he added.

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