Arsenal plot £10m bid for Everton's Leighton Baines

01 April 2011 09:55
Arsenal are preparing a ?10million move for Leighton Baines as fears grow over the future of left back Gael Clichy.

Sportsmail revealed last month that manager Arsene Wenger is worried Clichy will not sign a new deal at the Emirates. The French defender, who is out of contract at the end of next season, later admitted he would not  recommence discussions over a new deal until the end of this campaign.

Now Everton's Baines has been identified as the man Arsenal want should Clichy be sold.

In the spotlight: Everton defender Leighton Baines (centre) has caught the eye this season

The Gunners have looked at Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre but Baines has been a shining light in a mediocre season for Everton and his performances have alerted Wenger.

An Arsenal source told Sportsmail: 'Baines is a good defender first and foremost but Wenger likes how  comfortable he is on the ball, particularly his delivery and set pieces. Wenger thinks Baines would slot straight into the team with little fuss. Also Baines knows the Premier League inside and out so he would not have to get used to English football like a foreign signing would.'

However, the Gunners are aware that Baines is settled in the North West and that they could have trouble persuading him to uproot.

Everton will need to sell this summer to balance the books at Goodison Park and will consider offers for him. The sale of Jack Rodwell in the summer could bring in as much as ?15m but a ?10m bid for Baines, who has also been linked with Liverpool and Bayern Munich, would be hard to reject even if they sold Rodwell.

Wenger, meanwhile, has warned Fabio Capello he is putting England's Euro 2012 dream at risk by  sending Jack Wilshere on Under 21 duty this summer. He fears Wilshere is destined to 'hit the wall' if his progress is not carefully managed.

On the move? Gael Clichy (right) is out of contract at the end of next season

Wenger said: 'Nobody has brought more young players out than I have and I have a good experience of what kind of stages they go through.

'Experience helps you only to anticipate problems, it doesn't make you more intelligent. You know this car will hit the wall at some stage and you see it a little bit earlier than somebody who has less experience.

'I have met players at World Cups who have played more than 60 games in a season before the World Cup had started and they've said to me, "Boss, I am dead".

'You prepare for a European Championship a year before. You do not prepare in May or in June before the competition.'

Wilshere could break the 60-game barrier this season if he joins the Under 21s and they reach the latter stages in Denmark.

Burn-out: Wenger fears Wilshere could be exhausted if he is called up by England Under 21s this summer

The 19-year-old was one of only three outfield players to start both games for England's senior team this week, as Capello rested five players for Tuesday's friendly against Ghana and left out West Ham's Scott Parker.

'A lot happened last week that defied common sense,' complained Wenger.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, however, has given his blessing to Jordan Henderson playing in this summer's Under 21 tournament, although he says the midfielder needs rest.

The 20-year-old, who has been an ever-present for Bruce this season, made his England debut against France in November and was back in Stuart Pearce's Under 21 squad this week.

Bruce said: 'Playing for your country and in a great tournament like this one is what it's all about and can only benefit Jordan. The games will be very different from the Premier League.'

 Playing for the U21s would be a step back for Jack, claims Arsenal boss All the latest Premier League team news for April 2 & 3Arsenal boss Wenger close to sealing ?200k deal for Swedish teen OlssonArsenal on alert as Werder Bremen reveal ?10m Mertesacker could be off

 Explore more:People: Steve Bruce, Fabio Capello, Jack Wilshere, Stuart Pearce, Arsene Wenger Places: Liverpool, France, Denmark, United Kingdom, Ghana

Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44