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The Sweeper: Chelsea's Baldini pursuit & Oxlade-Chamberlain set for Arsenal start

The Sweeper: Chelsea's Baldini pursuit & Oxlade-Chamberlain set for Arsenal start

Capello's former right-hand man, currently employed as Roma's general manager, held talks with the European champions about taking a technical director role at Stamford Bridge

THE
SWEEPER
TIDYING UP ALL THE LOOSE STORIES IN FOOTBALL THIS WEEK


BALDINI WAS TARGETED BY CHELSEA IN SUMMER
 
Tottenham are not the only major Premier League club who have been on the trail of former England No.2 Franco Baldini.

The Sweeper can reveal that the Roma general manager held talks with Chelsea in the summer about taking on a similar technical director role to the one that Spurs have in mind for him.

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It was not the first time he had been on the radar of owner Roman Abramovich. The European champions also approached Baldini when Frank Arnesen left the club at the end of last season but the timing was not believed to have been right for the Italian, who was still working for England.

Tottenham remain confident of luring Baldini to White Hart Lane even though he held a press conference earlier this month to say that he is committed to Roma.

Spurs have been tracking Fabio Capello’s former No2 since early summer and are hopeful he will take on a technical director role at the club next year.

Baldini’s €600,000-a-year Roma contract runs until 2014 but Tottenham’s interest is likely to lead to pave the way for his departure at some point next year.

As revealed by Goal.com last month, Spurs have targeted Baldini as they look to overhaul their recruitment operation and create a new senior executive position.

Chairman Daniel Levy wants to re-introduce a continental-style set-up to aid manager Andre Villas-Boas, four years after abandoning the director of football model when Damien Comolli was sacked in October 2008.

- Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent


THE OX READY TO WAKE UP FROM MIDWEEK HANGOVER
 
The taking of pills before matches has come under the microscope this week after England sleepwalked through their re-arranged World Cup qualifier in Poland.

One player who particularly suffered in Warsaw is understood to have been Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Like many of his colleagues, the 19-year-old was caught out by the 20-hour fixture delay and ended up mixing caffeine and sleeping tablets to prepare for the match that was eventually played on Wednesday afternoon.

Despite his midweek troubles, Oxlade-Chamberlain is expected to get the nod over Gervinho and start on Arsenal’s right flank against Norwich City on Saturday evening, with Olivier Giroud set for the centre-forward role.

- Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent


PREMIER LEAGUE BOSS STEPS UP HOTSHOT MOVE
 
Which Premier League manager with his eye on one of the Championship’s most exciting talents invited the player’s boss for talks during the international break?

The second tier manager spent the day watching training and sharing tactical ideas with his higher level counterpart before swapping information on the top target.

- Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

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