By Alex Stevens
Mark Warburton has flown to Manchester to hold face-to-face talks with Rangers target Joleon Lescott, according to a reliable journalist.
The Scottish Sun claimed earlier on Tuesday the Glasgow giants are working on a transfer that would take the former England international to Ibrox.
The newspaper’s chief football writer Robert Grieve subsequently claimed on his personal Twitter account that Rangers manager was meeting the Aston Villa defender in Manchester on Tuesday afternoon for “signing talks”.
— Robert Grieve (@robert_grieve) August 16, 2016
It is said that Rangers manager Mark Warburton has targeted the 34-year-old centre-back 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, who is contracted to the club until next summer, he can leave on a free if he finds another club.
— Aston Villa (@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.
The Scottish Sun report that the defender has been in talks over a severance package and has various options from Premier League clubs in England.
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.
Understand Lescott & Agbonlahor r part of the @AVFCOfficial exit strategy,announced soon. Bit complicated at mo.But Richards in RDM's plans.
— Pat Murphy (@patmurphybbc) August 10, 2016
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.