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Stoke linked with Baptiste swoop

Stoke City have been reportedly monitoring the progress of Blackpool’s Alex Baptiste ahead of a possible transfer bid in January.

Tony Pulis’s Stoke went down 4-0 at home against Chelsea on Saturday, but had previously only conceded seven goals at the Britannia Stadium all season.

The prospect of signing Baptiste presents a good opportunity to bring in one of the best defenders outside the Premier League at good value.

Baptiste will be a free agent at the end of the season and as of December had not begun talks about a new deal at Bloomfield Road.

Baptiste was picked up for 5,000 pounds from Mansfield Town in 2008 and has become indispensable to the club after making more than 150 appearances since then.

Meanwhile, Blackpool are reportedly close to naming former Nottingham Forest boss Sean O’Driscoll as their new manager, and it could be announced this week.

Sun 13 January, 2013
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