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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Villas-Boas still top PSG target - reports

French media reports have reinforced claims by their British counterparts that Andre Villas-Boas tops Paris Saint-Germain's list of potential replacements for Carlo Ancelotti.

• Palmer: AVB faces litmus test

Ancelotti's departure from the Parc des Princes is reportedly imminent, but the name of his successor remains unknown despite the Italian having made public his request to be freed from the final year of his contract almost a month ago.

Echoing reports in the Guardian, which says PSG have contacted the Tottenham Hotspur manager's agent, Carlos Goncalves, L'Equipe claimed on Monday Villas-Boas, 35, has emerged as the Ligue 1 champions' No. 1 target.

Backed by the virtually limitless funds of owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), PSG would have little trouble in paying the reported €12 million release clause in Villas-Boas' contract, which still has two years to run in north London. However, it remains to be seen whether the former Porto and Chelsea boss would be willing to leave White Hart Lane for what would likely be only a one-year deal.

L'Equipe claims PSG "still intend to follow the market for coaches in 2014 very closely, and not necessarily only for Arsene Wenger", who is held in great esteem by QSI and whose contract at Arsenal expires in a year's time.

France's main sports daily also suggested Villas-Boas' arrival in the French capital could encourage Gareth Bale to do the same. The Wales international, 23, has reportedly been followed by PSG for some time.

According to L'Equipe, Villas-Boas' surge to the top of PSG's wanted list comes as a consequence of Guus Hiddink preparing to confirm the extension by a season of his contract with Anzhi Makhachkala, while Swansea boss Michael Laudrup last week rejected the offer from PSG of a one-year deal with a further season as an option.

The question marks surrounding Leonardo, whose appeal against a nine-month suspension will not be heard until early July, mean the once-preferred idea that the sporting director serve as a one-season, interim replacement for Ancelotti has all but been abandoned.

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