By Alex Stevens
Joleon Lescott has been pictured holding face-to-face signing talks with Rangers manager Mark Warburton.
The Scottish Sun claimed on Tuesday the Glasgow giants were working on a transfer that would take the former England international to Ibrox.
Pictures subsequently emerged on Twitter of the Aston Villa defender meeting Warburton in the village of Hale, near Manchester on Tuesday evening to thrash out a deal.
— David Jacobs (@Jakey7787) August 16, 2016
Lescott is in the final year of his £50,000-a-week Villa contract, which was halved when the team were relegated to Championship at the end of last season.
The Scottish Sun claim Rangers are willing to hand the 34-year-old a two-year deal worth £10,000-a-week to entice him to Scotland.
The defender has been in talks with Villa over a severance package and has various options from Premier League clubs in England, including Sunderland.
But Rangers are now regarded as serious contenders to land the stopper and are hopeful they can lure him to Glasgow.
Lescott, who has earned 26 England caps, is the Scottish club’s No1 defender target ahead of former Arsenal star Philippe Senderos, who has been training with Warburton’s squad this week.
Warburton has targeted Lescott to bolster his team’s defence as he continues to target players who have played in the Premier League.
The Scottish club have made nine signings this summer, with all of the players arriving from England and most having played in the top flight.
Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo admitted on the eve of the new Championship season that he had told Lescott he can leave on a free if he finds another club.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) August 5, 2016
Lescott signed from Midland rivals West Brom last summer for a fee of £1.5million, but endured a nightmare debut season with the club and has played no part in the club’s opening three matches of the new campaign.
Di Matteo is looking to trim his squad as Brad Guzan, Idrissa Gueye, Ciaran Clark, Scott Sinclair and Carlos Sanchez have already left the club.
The club’s highest earners are expected to follow the path of Guzan and leave on free transfer sas Villa look remove the high earners from their wage bill.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, the club’s transfer shortlist is topped by this Premier League duo as manager Roberto Di Matteo considers other options.