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Man City completes signing of Lescott from Everton

ENGLAND defender Joleon Lescott completed his move from Everton to Manchester City yesterday, the latest arrival in City's big-spending bid to end decades without a major title.

Signing a five-year contract, the 27-year-old centerback is the latest big star to move to the vastly wealthy but underachieving club which has also bought Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, Roque Santa Cruz, Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Adebayor and Sylvinho during the transfer window, spending around 120 million pounds (US$197 million).

"I am absolutely delighted to welcome Joleon to Manchester City," said City manager Mark Hughes. "He is an England international who has proved his Premier League ability during his time at Everton."

Bought by a vastly wealthy business consortium from Abu Dhabi last September, Man City is effectively the wealthiest club in world football and Hughes has been given the task of bringing titles back to a club which has languished in the shadow of neighbor Manchester United and other powerhouse teams in the English game.

City last won the league in 1968 and the FA Cup in '69 but the backing of a member of Abu Dhabi's royal family has given it a big advantage over its rivals.

"The way this club is moving on, I'm really looking forward to being a part of that," Lescott said after signing a deal which was opposed for weeks by Everton. The Toffees repeatedly turned down improved bids by City but now he was expected to take his place alongside former Arsenal star Toure at the heart of the City defense.

"In bringing Joleon to the club I feel we have recruited a defender of the very highest quality," Hughes said. "He can play in a number of defensive positions, and I'm positive he will make a significant impact for us."

Lescott's arrival puts a question mark over the future of long-serving Richard Dunne. The 29-year-old Ireland international who is in his ninth season with City, is now being linked with a move to Aston Villa.


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