Rangers want ex-England international Joleon Lescott

Joleon Lescott is currently at Aston Villa. Picture: Getty
Joleon Lescott is currently at Aston Villa. Picture: Getty
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Rangers have earmarked Aston Villa defender Joleon Lescott as the final piece of their summer transfer campaign after nearing a deal for Preston striker Joe Garner.

Lescott is believed to be their top defensive target despite Philippe Senderos joining Rangers for a week’s training on Monday.

The Aston Villa centre-back – a former Everton team-mate of Rangers assistant manager David Weir – is understood to be available on a free transfer following his club’s relegation from the Premier League.

Rangers are keen to take the 34-year-old former England international to Glasgow to compete with Danny Wilson, Rob Kiernan and Clint Hill for a central defensive place.

Garner is expected to join Rangers later this week with talks progressing over a £1.5million transfer. A deal has been agreed in principle with the finer details being ironed out.

A Preston statement read: “On both Sunday and Monday discussions were held with Joe with regard to this situation.

“Joe has made it clear that the financial considerations in making this move would mean that he would want to leave.

“Assuming a final agreement can be reached with regard to a transfer fee we would not want to stand in the way of a player who no longer wished to remain with us. If Joe leaves, he goes with our very best wishes for what he has done in his time here.”

The 28-year-old former Carlisle, Nottingham Forest and Watford striker scored six goals in 44 games for the Sky Bet Championship club last season after netting 27 in their promotion campaign the previous year.

Rangers manager Mark Warburton, who has made nine summer signings so far, confirmed on Monday that former Arsenal centre-back Senderos was training with the club.

The 31-year-old - who has also played for AC Milan, Everton, Fulham, Valencia and Aston Villa on top of his seven-year stint with the Gunners - is available on a free transfer following his departure from Swiss club Grasshoppers.

Meanwhile, Warburton has received good news after striker Martyn Waghorn started running sooner than expected following a hamstring injury.

Waghorn looks a safe bet to be fit in time for the trip to Celtic Park on September 10 after initially being ruled out for two to three weeks following a scan last Tuesday.

Warburton, whose team host Motherwell in the Ladbrokes Premiership on Saturday, said: “Waggy has made great progress, and credit to him and the medical team. He is out jogging and they will gradually increase the loading. We won’t welcome him back too soon but he is certainly way ahead of the curve.”

The Ibrox boss added: “Jason Holt will have another appointment this week. He has an ongoing ankle problem which hopefully can be resolved fairly quickly and that is why he wasn’t involved on Saturday.

“Jason had an operation previously on the ankle and he rolled it in training. We hoped it would have resolved itself but then he had some discomfort.

“He is too important to risk, and players’ welfare is a key aspect to us so we will get him looked at and make sure he is okay. Hopefully we can welcome him back very shortly.”

Matt Crooks started full training on Monday as he bids to make his debut following ankle surgery, while Josh Windass is close to rejoining his team-mates following a nerve problem.

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Rangers close in on Garner | Dundee eye Juanma | Rangers & SFA in bust-up | Hibs ‘unlikely to get Henderson’

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