By 90Min
January 25, 2018

Joleon Lescott has laid bare the full facts surrounding his Manchester City move from Everton eight-and-a-half years after his £24m deal went through.

The ex-defender told Sky Sports about what it's like for a footballer who is caught in the middle between a club who wishes to poach him, and another who is adamant that said player is going nowhere.

Lescott was the subject of significant interest from City back in August 2009 as then manager Mark Hughes looked to sign him, but former Toffees boss David Moyes set out his stall to retain the talented centre-back.

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Lescott, now 35 years of age, had had his head turned by City's desire to win silverware - and he admitted that his decision to hand in a transfer request was a test to see what Everton would do once they gained hold of his written request.

He said: "I had spoken with the manager and expressed a desire to leave, but the club didn't want to sell at that moment.

"I was under the impression that if I stepped in and made it clear I wanted to go then it would make it easier for them, which is what clubs tend to do. 

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"It's strange because if clubs don't want to sell you they wouldn't reveal you had put in a transfer request. That is only going to hurt your relationship with your fans.

"So you know when a club is genuine or serious about not wanting to sell you if you put in a transfer request and it is not leaked. Then you realise you are not going.

"It was a test. I was told by my representatives at the time that it's a test and if you put it in and they release it then you are more likely to leave."

Lescott was kept at Goodison Park against his will for much of the summer but, after he played his part in a 6-1 demolition at the hands of Arsenal on the opening day, was sold to City.

The former Wolves star went on to explain that he had been concerned about the fans' reaction to his departure - Lescott was booed whenever Everton faced City from that point on - but revealed his wish to play at a higher level overruled that worry.

He added: "Of course you are concerned about things like how the fans will view it, but I wanted to go and if it didn't happen I would have been disappointed, although I would have had to get on with it; it's your job.

"You are concerned that you are going to have to rebuild your relationship with the fans but that's what you have to do."

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