Posted by Steve Murphy Labels: Aston Villa, David Moyes, Everton, Joleon Lescott, man city, Mark Hughes, Richard Dunne, Sylvinho, transfer, Video
Joleon Lescott signed a five-year-deal after agreeing personal terms, in a deal worth around £22 million for Everton. Lescott will bring strength and depth to City's defensive options along with left back Sylvinho.
Joleon Lescott added today: "I'm excited to have joined a great club, and after talking to Mark Hughes I know that the Club's ambitions and mine are similar. Now I just want to get out there with the lads.
"It was time for me to make the change, and my target now is to just play as many games as I can this season - you don't join a big club like this and expect to go straight in.
"We want to finish as high as we can in the League of course, and fourth place is achievable when you look around the dressing-room. We've signed players from some of the biggest clubs in the world, and that shows the ambition here.
"I think we're better equipped than Everton to finish fourth. I reached the FA Cup Final last season, which is an achievement. The next step is to win a trophy. I sense that feeling here.
"I've a lot to live up to but not because of the money. I put a lot of pressure on myself and make demands of myself.
"It's a demanding season with a World Cup to follow. I've managed to get into the England squad, now I want to try and cement my place for the World Cup, a massive goal for me."
Manager Mark Hughes said of Lescott at the press conference today: "I fully expect him to become the best central defender in the country. He is at the stage of his career where there is further development in him.
"He is at a club on which there is a huge focus. He will have to deal with that. That makes players grow. We have invested a lot of money in him and with that comes a responsibility.
“Joleon can be as good as John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. That is the challenge for Joleon. It will not faze him. He is a driven young man and wants to be the best he can be."
Despite claims that the signing of Lescott will bring to an end Richard Dunne's Manchester City career, Mark Hughes has reiterated that Richard Dunne remains the club captain. Richard Dunne will along with all the other defenders now face a fight for a starting place.
Hughes said of Dunne: "There is bound to be speculation but what we are trying to do is make the squad stronger,"
"No doubt we will get calls in relation to Richard or other centre-backs, because people will surmise that now Joleon is here others may leave.
"That is not necessarily the case," he said. "It can be down to the individual or down to circumstances, but my remit is to make the club stronger.
"As we stand today Richard Dunne is the captain,"
However it is now being reported that Aston Villa have had a £6 million fee agreed with Manchester City regarding the transfer of Richard Dunne. The Guardian are reporting that a fee has been agreed and they will offer Dunne the Villa captaincy in discussions over personal terms.
Man City had previously had 2 bids for Lescott turned down robustly by Everton. The situation took a dramatic turn when Lescott handed in a written transfer request which was immediately rejected by David Moyes. Lescott however was determined to secure a move to Manchester City. David Moyes inevitably had sell Lescott to prevent any long term damage to the stability of the Everton dressing room. Moyes said: "The situation means we have to sell him, that's been the main reason. It has jeopardised team spirit, you saw how we were against Arsenal."
Everton signed Lescott from Wolves in 2006 and the player has gone on to become a regular for both Everton and England. Birmingham born Lescott now lives in the Manchester area and was reported to be interested in a move to City since the saga began.
Lescott is a versatile player who can play as either a left-sided centre back or a left back. Lescott responded today over David Moye's claims that Lescott's attitude was "disappointing" and how he insinuated that this was the cause of Everton's 6-1 thrashing by Arsenal on the opening day of the season:
"I was disappointed in the comments, I feel they're inaccurate," Lescott said. "I'd like to address them at a later date and talk more positively about my move here.
"I don't think I disrespected any of the (Everton) players. If I did I apologise. I'd like to think they thought I gave my all when I played.
"I know it wasn't my finest game for Everton (against Arsenal). It was a collective effort and obviously Arsenal were better than us on the day."
City manager Mark Hughes and the backroom staff have been keen to add premiership proven players to the squad, and preferably home-grown talent. City’s squad now has a number of high profile home-grown players including Barry, Ireland, Wright-Phillips and Bridge. Manchester City is clearly preparing a team that will be able to compete under any new “Home-grown player” rule adopted by UEFA.
The home-grown player rule states: At least four players in every 16-man match-day squad will have to have been registered domestically for at least three years before their 21st birthday.
This is not to be confused with the FIFA “6+5” rule which was abandoned after it broke EU laws on freedom of employment between European Countries. It would mean that players who have been brought up through the ranks of English based clubs would also qualify as “Home-Grown”, so for example Richards, Lescott, Barry, and Wright-Phillips fall in this bracket.
Everton are reported to have compiled a “nailed on” dossier against Manchester City – accusing them of illegally “tapping-up” Joleon Lescott. If found guilty City and the player could face possible fines. The club could also suffer a point’s reduction penalty. Ashley Cole and Jose Mourinho were fined £75,000 and £20,000 respectively after Arsenal reported Chelsea for “tapping-up” Cole. The original inquiry found Cole in breach of Premier League rule K5, which prevents contracted players talking to rival clubs without their employer’s permission.
Mourinho, who initially denied he had been at the meeting, was found to be in breach of Rule Q, governing managers’ conduct. Chelsea was also given a suspended 3-point reduction if they were found guilty of committing a similar offence in the future.
Under these circumstances Everton would have to prove that Manchester City had spoken to Lescott regarding a move without their permission. The only hearsay is that Lescott and Hughes were on holiday together, along with John Terry... hmmm. If Everton believe that the saga has been too public then they will fail in that accusation because it was Everton who published the following on their website before Manchester City said anything public:
30/07/09: "We can confirm we have received an offer of £18m for Joleon Lescott from Manchester City and that offer has been rejected outright."
Of course in all probability all of this will fade away – especially as David Moyes’ comments after the 1-0 defeat to Burnley suggested that Everton were simply playing games to get as much money for Lescott as possible from the outset. Everything else would appear to have been a smoke screen to appease the fans and get more money for “3 or 4 players” before the close of the transfer window. Moyes said:
"We shouldn't have been asked to wait this length of time for an amount of cash we think was the correct value for the player.
"Real Madrid came in with the money (£80million for Ronaldo) a week after the end of the season. If the money had been offered in June it would have been a lot easier for us. The time is against us (to find a replacement)."
Lescott Video: At Press Conference