Joleon Lescott is at the centre of a bizarre mix-up as Spanish fourth-tier football team Racing Murcia announced the signing of the former England and Manchester City defender on Friday.
The only problem is Lescott, who retired after leaving Sunderland in 2017, is understood to have agreed to play only in an exhibition match – not line him up for action in the Copa del Rey.
Racing, who play in Group 13B of the Tercera Division, are due to face top-flight Levante in the first round of the cup competition on December 16.
The club tweeted: “Our president Morris Pagniello and Racing Murcia are happy to announce the signing of English star Joleon Lescott, who will play in the Copa del Rey game against Levante.”
They added in a statement: “Joleon Lescott will be presented officially in the coming weeks at an event involving the team’s management and players.
“In the coming days the club will announce other star signings and professionals that will help the team reach our objectives in the league and cup.”
Lescott, who now manages outgoing loan players for City, knows someone connected to Racing and had agreed to play in what he thought was a friendly.
However, a misunderstanding somewhere led the club to believe the 38-year-old would turn out in their Copa del Rey glamour tie.
News he was being earmarked for this competitive fixture came as a surprise to Lescott.
It is understood he has not completely ruled out playing but, given the required registration process, it may prove impractical as he has no intention of coming out of retirement other than for a one-off game. He intends to continue his work at City.
Lescott won two Premier League titles with City after his move from Everton in 2009. He also played for West Brom, Aston Villa, AEK Athens and Sunderland after beginning his career at Wolves.
He is actually not the first big name to be linked with Racing after reports that former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o was going to join them recently.
The club play at the 3,500-capacity Estadio de Futbol Municipal de Dolores de Pacheco in Murcia. Their squad includes Mathias Pogba, brother of Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba.