Premier League - Paper Round: Baines to replace Clichy

Sat, 02 Apr 06:29:00 2011

Arsene Wenger has targeted Leighton Baines as a replacement for Gael Clichy at Arsenal as fears over the French left-back's future at the Emirates escalate.

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The Gunners are worried Clichy will not sign a new deal when he opens discussions at the end of the current campaign so have already started to look elsewhere.

Everton full-back Baines has been identified as the man to fill Clichy's boots, should the France international seek pastures new.

But Baines is notoriously homey and extremely settled in the North-West, meaning Wenger would have a tough job trying to persuade him to uproot and move down to London.

Baines has also been linked with Liverpool and Bayern Munich. (Daily Mail)

Another defender of interest to Arsenal, the £8m-rated Phil Jones, may also prove difficult to snare in the summer.

Wenger, a big admirer of the England U21 star, has been told by Blackburn boss Steve Kean to forget about signing Jones as Venky's-owned Rovers no longer have to cash in on their best players. (Daily Mirror)

To Liverpool, where the Reds are set to put in an £8 million offer for England international Matt Jarvis.

The winger, who made his Three Lions debut against Ghana during the week, is currently one of the Premier League's hottest properties and Wolves are bracing themselves for a bid from Merseyside at the end of the season (Daily Mail)

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway has been knocked back in his cheeky bid for rising Real Madrid star Sergio Canales.

Ollie has just returned from a fact-finding mission in Spain where he watched the national team, Real Madrid and two other clubs train.

Jose Mourinho was moved to pen an email to Holloway about the bid for wonderkid Canales, writing "Sorry mate - nice try". (The Sun)

Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool will have to dip deep if they are to sign Anderlecht teenager Romelu Lukaku.

The Belgium striker, who turns 18 in May, is highly-rated and Anderlecht general manager Herman van Holsbeeck is holding out for £26m.

Both Manchester clubs are also thought to be interested. (Daily Mail)

And finally, that man Mario Balotelli is again in the headlines after another training ground bust-up.

This time the Italian bore the brunt of Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini's rage after he clipped the heels of Carlos Tevez in practice.

Mancini called Balotelli over to give him a dressing down and, despite his protestations, appeared to signal with the use of a finger that he has one last chance after a string of misdemeanours.

The £24m signing has already clashed with team-mate Jerome Boateng in training and he was docked two weeks' wages recently for his red card against Dynamo Kiev.

He is also expected to be fined for throwing darts at youth-team players from a window at the training base. (The Sun)


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