City to increase Lescott bid

Image: Lescott: Hughes target

Sky Sports News understands Manchester City are to make an improved bid for Everton defender Joleon Lescott within the next 24 hours.

Improved offer for Toffees ace expected within the next 24 hours

Sky Sports News understands Manchester City are to make an improved bid for Everton defender Joleon Lescott within the next 24 hours. Money-rich City had a £15million offer for the England player rejected by the Toffees earlier in July after confirming their long-term interest in the 26-year-old. Lescott's versatility is viewed as essential by City boss Mark Hughes as he attempts to strengthen his rearguard before the start of the new Premier League season, while a £16m deal for Arsenal's Kolo Toure is also close to completion. Hughes has already signed midfielder Gareth Barry and forwards Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor as he plots an assault on the top four. The City boss has now turned his attention to his defence and, after failing in his attempts to sign Chelsea captain John Terry, has identified Lescott as his prime target.

Long-term potential

Lescott moved to Everton in 2006 in a £5m transfer from Wolves, who he joined as a trainee in 1999. The Toffees will be able to offer European football next season after David Moyes' side qualified for the Europa League via a fifth-placed Premier League finish. City ended 2008/09 in 10th and failed to qualify for Europe, but Lescott could be tempted due to the long-term potential at Eastlands and a reportedly superior salary. Everton could be persuaded to sell one of their most profitable assets in order to raise transfer funds amidst links with Leeds' midfield ace Fabian Delph. Moyes, though, is unlikely to want to allow one of his star defenders to leave after previously admitting that his squad lack strength in depth for centre-backs.

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