Chelsea target Everton defender Baines

Everton full-back Leighton Baines is attracting interest from the Toffees’ Premier League rivals Chelsea, with the Independent reporting that an offer could be made in January for the services of the England international.

The newspaper adds that it is considering unlikely manager David Moyes would give the green light to Baines’ departure in the middle of the season, but that may not be enough to stop Chelsea tempting the Goodison Park hierarchy. The player is valued at £15m and if no offer is forthcoming in the next month, Baines is expected to be the subject of further attention next summer.

Chelsea will face competition from Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, should the 28-year-old decide to leave Merseyside. United baulked at meeting Baines’ asking price this summer but the London club are understood to view Baines as a long-term replacement for Ashley Cole, four years Baines’ senior, while PSG are considering Baines as an alternative to Cole, who is available on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Everton host Chelsea on Sunday, having beaten the Blues in the same fixture last season through goals from Steven Pienaar and Denis Stracqualursi.

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