Sunderland have made their first foray into the January transfer window after signing centre-back Joleon Lescott on a short-term deal.
David Moyes will be hoping to add more to his squad by Tuesday’s 11pm deadline as former Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce continues to chase a renunion with Patrick van Aanholt at Crystal Palace.
That deal could should free up valuable funds for Moyes to reinvest, also moving a significant wage earner off the bill and easing the pressure on financial fair play.
Sunderland would be reluctant to sell without confidence that they can land a replacement, as van Aanholt the only natural senior left-back in their squad.
Lescott says he is delighted to be linking up with David Moyes again, and revealed that he had been training with Manchester City prior to his Wearside switch.
The 34-year-old proved his fitness on the training ground last Friday and, with Papy Djilobodji facing a four-game ban for an alleged act of violent conduct in the weekend defeat at West Brom, the Black Cats have moved quickly to sign him until the end of the season.
Lescott, whose stint at AEK Athens was cut short by injury earlier this season, said: “I’m over the moon. I spoke to the manager last week, he said there was some interest – I’m delighted to get it done.
“Any player wants to play in the Premier League at any stage.
“I went out there [to Greece] for a different experience, it’s not one I’ll be looking back on fondly, but I’m delighted to be back.
“We spoke Thursday, he just asked me how I was.
“I’d been training down at Man City. He’s got a lot of friends down there, they’d relayed some information to him and he just said come up, so I came up on Friday, did some work with the fitness coach and it was a goer.
“He’s a well experienced manager.
“If anyone can get us out (of trouble), I’m sure it can be him.”
Lescott is happy to be joining a squad with a number of familiar faces, and is eagerly awaiting the chance to play in front of the Sunderland fans in the near future.
He said: “Victor (Anichebe), I’ve played with him a few times. Me and Jermain go back to England Under-16s, so it helps.
“I’m excited. It’s always an intense atmosphere [at the Stadium of Light].
“I haven’t had too many great results here, so hopefully that can continue for the away teams while I’m here.”