Roker Report has learned from sources close to the player that Joleon Lescott has signed a short-term deal with Sunderland which will see the ex-England international defender stay with the club until the end of the current season.
Lescott - who spent part of this season playing for Greek side AEK Athens - arrives on a free transfer having been without a club since November after leaving Greece following a dispute regarding a knee injury that he had which he has since recovered from.
The former Manchester City, Aston Villa, Everton and Wolves defender has been training with Sunderland this week and, with the news that Papy Djilobodji looks set to cop a four-match ban for an off-the-ball punch on Darren Fletcher, we may well need Lescott to start playing games almost immediately.
Since leaving AEK, Lescott has trained with Manchester City in a bid to regain his fitness and is believed to have arrived at Sunderland in good shape - he could even come in to David Moyes side for our next game against Tottenham Hotspur.
Lescott arrives on Wearside in a bid to rebuild his shattered reputation.
Having experienced a fantastic career - playing for England on 26 occasions and in trophy-winning sides at Manchester City - Lescott found himself in the public eye for all the wrong reasons on a number of occasions last season when at Aston Villa, and is believed to be keen to get stuck in at Sunderland and help to pull the club out of the bottom three under the stewardship of David Moyes.
And whilst many supporters may feel that this is a bad move on the club's part, we have to be realistic and assess what options we have available when it comes to strengthening our side before the end of the current transfer window.
Lescott has previously played under Moyes when at Everton and whilst the Sunderland manager publicly played down rumours of signing the ex-Villa man in the summer, his options have become further limited with regards to financially strengthening since that time.
Even if the sale of Patrick van Aanholt to Crystal Palace occurs in the coming days, Sunderland's budget is stretched and we require new players in a number of areas on the pitch. Sunderland's leaky defence is conceding far too many goals and adding competition for places is key - we could do worse than bringing Lescott's experience to the fold, particularly if he is reinvigorated and eager to prove himself at this level yet again at the ripe age of 34.