The Daily Star says Hughes is facing a battle to prise him away from Goodison Park where they value Lescott at around £20m - £5m more than City are prepared to offer for the 26-year-old.
Lescott joined Everton from Wolves for £5m three years ago and has blossomed into one of the best central defenders around.
The possibility of a double-your-wages offer from City is certain to interest him.
But Sparky will not become involved in an auction for a player who recently starred for England in their World Cup qualifier against Andorra. A £15m price tag will be their limit.