Aston Villa have joined the race for Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott, according to the Daily Mirror.

The England defender has been told he can leave the Etihad this month, with his contract set to expire in the summer.

Manuel Pellegrini is still in the market for a top class partner for Vincent Kompany, having been left unconvinced by the performances of Lescott, Matija Nastasic and Martin Demichelis.

Lescott has slipped down the pecking order at the Etihad, and is keen to make a January move in order to keep his World Cup dream alive.

Lescott knows Roy Hodgson has limited centre back options for the summer’s tournament in Brazil, and hopes regular first team football will give him an opportunity to earn his starting place back.

Paul Lambert’s Villa are keen to add more experience, and is hoping to take the 31-year-old on loan for the remainder of the season.

However Villa face competition from relegation threatened West Ham and Fulham, with the Hammers reportedly willing to match his £90,000 a week contract.

Lescott however grew up supporting Aston Villa, and could commute from his north west home.

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