Football: West Brom sign Joleon Lescott on two-year deal

(REUTERS) - England defender Joleon Lescott has joined West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer from English Premier League champions Manchester City, it was announced on Friday.

The 31-year-old will officially join West Brom when his contract expires at the start of July, having spent five years in Manchester after joining from Everton.

He is the first new arrival at the club since the appointment of manager Alan Irvine as replacement for Spaniard Pepe Mel, and the second overall after Craig Gardner signed from Sunderland.

"He's an England international and a proven Premier League player, who has been at the top level for a number of years," Irvine said in a statement on the club website ( "He's got Premier League and cup medals to his name and has had a fantastic career so far.

"When we realised he was available and there was a realistic chance of getting him here we started to work very hard on it."

Lescott, capped 26 times by England, won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup at City, but only made 10 league appearances last term.

The Birmingham-born centre-back, who failed to make the England squad for the World Cup, was also a target for Hull City, with his two-year contract having an option of a further season should performance-related criteria be met.

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