• Manchester City defender slips to fourth choice at club
• Lescott keen to regain England place for World cup finals
Joleon Lescott is the target of a move to West Ham United from Manchester City, though he may reject the transfer worth £90,000-a-week because he is hopeful of attracting a higher-placed club in a bid to force his way into England's squad for the World Cup finals in Brazil.
The central defender is fourth choice at City under Manuel Pellegrini and although Lescott has to weigh up whether a transfer to the relegated-threatened club is desirable, the 31-year-old is keen to play regularly to get his career back on track.
While West Ham, it is understood, would pay him £90,000 a week until the close of the season, they have also offered him £70k a week if they do drop into the Championship, in what amounts to a three-and-a-half-year deal. His manager Manuel Pellegrini is keen to keep Lescott. "When this transfer window is over at the end of January, we will see what happens," he said. "At the moment, Joleon will stay here with the team."
This is a further sticking point as West Ham would want the transfer immediately owing to James Tomkins' suspension following his sending-off against Cardiff City.
If Lescott does leave then Pellegrini will consider signing a new central defender as he would have only Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic and Martín Demichelis for the position, with all three having respective recent injury concerns.
Sam Allardyce, whose side managed a 2-0 win at Cardiff City on Saturday, has is own concerns in central defence. Tomkins, Winston Reid and James Collins have all suffered injuries.
In the two matches before Cardiff, West Ham had conceded 11 so Lescott's experience would be welcome, which after the win at Cardiff was acknowledged by Carlton Cole. "We conceded 11 goals in two [cup] games, but we knew our main focus was the Premier League," said the striker. "We were riled up for the game, put in a good performance and got the job done in the end. We scored at the right time, defended resiliently and I am happy for the boys."