A war of words has opened up over Joleon Lescott’s decision to reject a move to Rangers last week, with manager Mark Warburton firing a broadside at Villa over comments from owner Tony Xia and manager Roberto Di Matteo.
Numerous media outlets claimed initially that the Aston Vllla defender had failed a medical, before family reasons was put out as another reason. But Tony Xia, posting on his official twitter page, claimed that Lescott rejected terms with the Ibrox side, despite promises made by Warburton.
No. Lescott didn't feel happy with personal term missed which the boss promised. RDM& I are men clear with words! https://t.co/RIjxaISAUP
— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) August 19, 2016
However, Warburton seems to have let the mask of coolness and respectfulness slip as he fired a scathing rebuttal, the former Brentford manager claimed that Lescott turned down a move due to ‘family reasons’ and labelled Villa’s claims as ‘nonsense’.
He said: “Let me be really clear about this – it’s absolute nonsense. Personal terms were all agreed but the player just decided to keep his family in Manchester. He’s well settled with three young children. It’s absolute nonsense to say anything other than that.
“The fact he’s up here tells you that terms were agreed and there wasn’t a problem with that. It’s a big decision on the player’s part and we understand that. But it’s nothing to do with what I’ve read in the papers.
“We know what happened, the player knows what happened. To take your three young kids out of school is a big call on his part and we respect it. It’s unfortunate but we wish him all the best.”
Villa’s owner was quick to hit back via social media, he added:
I don't know others. I don't lie and know RDM is very honest. https://t.co/jjVyyAnmDL
— Dr. Tony Xia (@Dr_TonyXia) August 20, 2016