Arsene Wenger is planning a January move for Everton left-back and long-time Manchester United target Leighton Baines.
The 28-year-old has been one of the Toffees' key players this season, as the Merseyside outfit continue to challenge Arsenal and Tottenham for a top-four place. Baines has more than two years left on his contract and David Moyes will not want to lose the England international in this window. However, according to the Daily Star, Wenger has decided to test Everton's resolve and is prepared to shell out up to £15m for the defender.
The Gunners are understood to be ready to let Andre Santos leave in January and Wenger is looking for an experienced left-back who can provide competition to Kieran Gibbs. The French tactician is an huge admirer of Baines and the Daily Star claims he feels the Everton star's overlapping style would fit perfectly with his club.
Baines, who arrived at Goodison Park from Wigan Athletic in 2007 for around £6m, has long been linked with a move to United, while Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are understood to have joined the race for his signature recently.
Moyes wants to wait until the end of the season to sort out the situation but the Scot needs some funds to strengthen his squad and could be forced to think about selling Baines, if an interesting offer arrives.
Pardew: We Could Not Cope
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew admitted his players were unable to cope with the pressure from Arsenal in the final 20 minutes of their 7-3 defeat at the Emirates this week.
Despite the Magpies equalising three times, the Gunners went on to post a massive win with four goals in the final quarter, which included a brace from substitute Olivier Giroud.
"I thought when we got back to 3-3 we should have shut up shop. The last 15-20 minutes was a fresh team against a tired team and perhaps a bit of inexperience on our bench resulted in the scoreline," Pardew told Sky Sports, "We're just so disappointed that we didn't get something out of it before then. For 70 minutes it was pretty tight, I thought we were giving a good account of ourselves but their freshness and the brightness towards the end of the game was just too much for us and we couldn't cope."