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Roberto Mancini’s men are reportedly interested in signing the England international, who has also been linked with moves to Bayern Munich and Liverpool this season

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Manchester City are stepping up their pursuit of Everton defender Leighton Baines, according to The Mirror.

The 26-year-old has been linked with a number of clubs after an impressive season on Merseyside, with Bayern Munich and rivals Liverpool also reported to be interested.

But now City, who ended their 35-year trophy drought by beating Stoke City in the FA Cup final on Saturday, are reportedly set to make a formal £18 million move for the England international.

City look set to allow left-back Wayne Bridge to leave in the summer, while Jerome Boateng, Aleksandr Kolarov and Pablo Zabaleta have as yet been unable to cement their place as automatic first-choice in the position.

Should a move for Baines materialise, the former Wigan man would become the second Everton defender to move to Eastlands in two years, with Joleon Lescott making a controversial £24m switch in 2009.

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