Everton manager David Moyes has opened the door for Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott to return to Goodison Park on loan.
Lescott, 30, was a regular in the City side who won the Premier League title last season, but has fallen out of favour at the Etihad Stadium.
The England international has played just a single minute of first-team football for Roberto Mancini since the 3-1 Champions League defeat away to Ajax on October 24, and has not even made the bench for City's last two league games.
Lescott wants to fight for his place, but has fallen behind 19-year-old Serbian defender Matija Nastasic in the pecking order and is likely to have to look elsewhere for regular games. He left Everton under a cloud in a £24 million deal in August 2009, with Moyes unhappy at the way City pursued the centre-back.
Everton turned down two public offers from City, along with a written transfer request from Lescott, before eventually allowing the deal to go through.
But Moyes, who has indicated that a lack of funds will restrict him to loan signings in January, said ahead of Everton's Premier League trip to City on Saturday that he would be happy to take the defender back.
He told the Liverpool Daily Post: "If Joleon wanted to come back, if I thought we needed him, I'd be delighted to have him back. I'd have no problem having Joleon back.
"I've not thought about it but if he was available then I think he'd be someone I would maybe show an interest in." Moyes believes that the sale of Lescott three years ago provided a financial platform to rebuild the team at Goodison Park.
"We have used the monies that we got from them as well as we can, and the club will always be bigger than any player or manager," the manager added.
"You lose a player, he wants to leave, then fine, you have to find a solution and fix it. That's what we've had to do. "When Joleon left, Everton were in a different place to where we are now. I know we had a year we finished fourth, but if you look at Everton today I think there's more solidity, and Everton look more likely now to be at the top end than they were then.
"So I can understand why the player wanted to go, there was a big project going on at Manchester City but it still was a disappointing one for me."