By Alex Stevens
Leeds are not interested in signing Joleon Lescott, according to a reliable journalist.
Radio Yorkshire’s Joe Rawson has claimed in a question-and-answer session that the Championship outfit have been put off by the former England defender’s wage demands.
Aston Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo confirmed on Friday that he has told Lescott he can leave the club on a free transfer and the centre-back suggested where he could be headed when he followed then unfollowed the Yorkshire giants on Twitter on Wednesday night.
The Telegraph subsequently claimed that Leeds are weighing up whether to offer 33-year-old a fresh start at Elland Road as they step up their pursuit of a new centre-back.
But Rawson has claimed that Lescott will not be moving to Leeds.
“My sources inside the club say this is a deal they are not interested in,” Rawson told TV Yorkshire. “Lescott would want a big wage and Leeds cannot afford to pay that kind of money.
“A Championship club with the kind of wage structure that Leeds have, it is unlikely. From what I’ve been told the club are not interested in him and, if they are going to go for a centre-back, which they are in the market for, they would prefer someone a big younger.”
Rawson has established a reputation for breaking Leeds news and was the first journalist to reveal that the club had sealed the signing of Pablo Hernandez, who was unveiled on Monday night as the club’s seventh summer signing, and that Charlie Taylor had handed in a transfer request last weekend.
Leeds are in the market for a new player at the heart of the defence, with only three senior players currently in that position in Sol Bamba, Liam Cooper and on-loan Kyle Bartley.
Lescott joined Aston Villa from West Brom last summer for just over £1million, having linked up with their Midlands rivals in 2014 on a free transfer from Manchester City.
Last season he played 32 games in the Premier League, but like much of the squad was criticised by fans for a lack of passion.
In other Leeds transfer news, Garry Monk has summed up the potential of Leeds this season in two words.