Premier League - Paper Round: City eye £25m Baines

Tue, 17 May 09:04:00 2011

Manchester City will make Everton and England full-back Leighton Baines their first transfer target of the summer, according to Tuesday's papers.

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With a Champions League spot secured City are expected to splash out yet again, and the Daily Mirror claims that a £25 million move for the left-back is in the offing.

The Toffees' debts are approaching £50m, meaning they would have little choice but to accept such a bid.

Whether he goes or not, the Daily Mail claims Everton boss David Moyes is expected to make a £10m bid for Lille striker Gervinho - though the Ivorian has made it clear that he would prefer a move to a club playing in the Champions League next season.

Tottenham fans already boosted by news that their Europa League spot is more or less guaranteed - if they fail to finish fifth they will almost certainly enter the competition via a UEFA Fair Play spot - have more to celebrate this morning as The Sun reports that revelation-of-the-season Rafael van der Vaart has pledged to stay at White Hart Lane next season.

With West Ham having gone down at the weekend it's perhaps unsurprising that there's plenty of talk about which of the Hammers stars will still be plying their trade at Upton Park next season.

Demba Ba seems spectacularly unlikely to be doing so after hitting the headlines for allegedly clashing with fans at the Hammers end-of-season dinner (see separate story), but Carlton Cole seems equally likely to move on.

The Daily Mirror reports that the 27-year-old striker is to be thrown a Premier League lifeline by Newcastle, who see the £7m-rated England hit man as a decent (if belated) replacement for Andy Carroll.

Meanwhile, Football Writers' Player of the Year Scott Parker is set to join Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham or Manchester City, depending on which paper you read - although the Daily Star seem pretty certain that the 30-year-old will join the Gunners. Considering Wenger's openness about needing more experience in his young squad, it's hard to imagine a better fit for the gifted midfielder.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa want to land goalkeeper Rob Green; Spurs want 22-year-old defender James Tomkins; Stoke will renew their interest in midfielder Mark Noble; and the aforementioned Ba is expected to sign for one of Sunderland, Blackburn or Villa.

As for who will oversee the fire sale following the sacking of Avram Grant? Martin O'Neill remains the club's top choice on what the Daily Mail claims is a five-strong shortlist, although he's hardly likely to go there, considering his credentials.

The others are Norwich City's Paul Lambert (but why would he move back to a Championship side after just winning promotion to the top flight?), Cardiff's Dave Jones (the play-offs could leave him in the same situation as Lambert), the unemployed Sam Allardyce and the already-ruled-himself-out Steve McClaren.

And finally, Carlo Ancelotti could be in for an extended holiday once the axe finally falls on his reign at Stamford Bridge, the Mirror claims.

The Italian apparently has a clause in his contract with the Blues preventing him from managing elsewhere in the Premier League within 12 months of leaving Chelsea. But Ancelotti has apparently settled in well in England and doesn't want to leave - meaning that he'll kick back for a year before considering his options rather than heading back to former club Roma as boss.


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