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West Brom hopeful of signing Lescott

Lescott started only eight league games for City last season.

West Bromwich Albion are in talks with Joleon Lescott, with new Hawthorns head coach Alan Irvine hoping to make the former England defender his first signing.

- Evans: West Brom err in hiring Irvine

Lescott is available on a free transfer after being released by Manchester City, and has also been made an offer by FA Cup finalists Hull and been linked with Stoke.

But Irvine, who coached Lescott in his days as Everton's assistant manager, is confident the 31-year-old will join him at The Hawthorns.

He told a news conference: "Joleon has said he'd be more than happy to work with me again. I believe negotiations are going very well."

Lescott became the third most expensive centre-back in history when City paid 22 million pounds for him in 2009, and was a regular in his first three seasons at the Etihad Stadium.

But he lost his place, first to Matija Nastasic and then Martin Demichelis, and started only eight league games as City won the Premier League title last season.

A move to West Brom would be controversial as Lescott, who has been capped 26 times by England, is a former player for Midlands rivals Wolves.

Former Preston and Sheffield Wednesday manager Irvine had been in charge of Everton's academy and was a surprise choice to take over.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted to be here. It was a couple of weeks ago I first heard there was an opportunity, and I got more excited as it got closer.

"My passion is for coaching first and foremost. I am extremely thorough, hard-working and diligent."

Pepe Mel left West Brom after a brief reign when he won only three of 17 games in charge, and although Irvine's appointment got a negative reaction from some supporters, he said: "Results are how you should be judged. You stand or fall by results."

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