By Dominic Toner

Pescara and AEK Athens are battling to sign defender Joleon Lescott, according to a report.

Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has claimed on his website that Greek side AEK Athens are preparing an improved high salary two-year deal for Lescott.

They are trying to fend off competition from Italian outfit Pescara, who are offering a one-year deal with the option of a second for the 34-year-old.

Di Marzio revealed that Pescara are in negotiations to sign Lescott, but could be set to fail with the Greek side prepared to offer a higher salary.

The former England international is expected to leave Villa Park before transfer deadline day after being demoted to the reserves.

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Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo has admitted that the club are considering the possibility of paying off the remainder of the veteran centre-back’s contract, which expires next summer, to get him off their wage bill.

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 cub’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, they have submitted a record £20million bid for a Premier League striker.