Manuel Pellegrini has dismissed reports linking Joleon Lescott with West Ham United, claiming the defender will stay at Manchester City.
The former Everton defender was a key member of the Blues side which won the title in 2012, but he has become less so over the past two seasons. Whilst Vincent Kompany is the rock of the Etihad Stadium back four, it appears as though Martin Demichelis and Mateja Nastasic are also ahead of him in the pecking order for places.
Lescott has started just seven times in the Premier League this season, and with his contract set to expire in the summer, he has been linked with a move this month. West Ham, who are fighting for their top-flight survival, are keen to take the 31-year-old on loan for the rest of the season, but Pellegrini has dashed their hopes.
When asked if the England international could be on his way out of the club during the January window, the City coach told Sky Sports: “No, no. I am not talking about any loan at the moment. I repeat, when this transfer window is over at the end of January, we will see what happens. At the moment, Joleon will stay here with the team.”
City, meanwhile, returned to the top of the Premier League table following a solid 2-0 win at Newcastle United, but the Blues will be dislodged from the summit if Arsenal win at Aston Villa on Monday.