By Will Butcher

Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has admitted that the club are considering the possibility of paying off Joleon Lescott.

The 34-year-old defender is expected to leave Villa Park before transfer deadline day, after being demoted to the Villans reserve side.

The Championship club could decide to release Lescott by paying the remainder of his contract if he fails to secure a move elsewhere by 1 September.

Asked about that possibility on Monday, Villa boss Di Matteo told the Birmingham Mail: “It’s something the club is dealing with.”

Lescott is in the final year of a Villa contract that the Sun claim is worth £50,000-a-week, which was halved when the team were relegated to the Championship at the end of last season.

Lescott almost joined Scottish Premier League new-boys Rangers earlier this month, but rejected a move at the last minute.

MLS giants LA Galaxy had also been credited with an interest, before manager Bruce Arena dismissed reports that had suggested the Western Conference side had tabled an offer for the England international.

The two-time Premier League winner was part of a disappointing campaign for the Villans last season, as his side picked up just 17 points. Lescott was at the heart of the club’s defence playing in 33 encounters in all competitions.

It would appear that the 26-time capped England defender’s days are numbered at Villa Park, after the additions of Tommy Elphick and James Chester this summer.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, Di Matteo is braced to receive a £5million offer for this star defender.