Baptiste targets Stags exit

Mansfield face battle to retain defender's services

Baptiste on his way

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Mansfield starlet Alex Baptiste is looking to quit Field Mill after the club were relegated from League Two.

The 22-year-old came through the youth ranks at Town and has made over 200 first-team appearances.

He penned a new three-year deal last summer despite a host of clubs showing an interest but is now understood to be considering his future.

"I want to progress as a footballer and need to leave Mansfield in order to do this," said Baptiste.

"I signed a new deal last summer in the belief that we could have a better campaign this time around. This obviously didn't happen and now my future lies elsewhere."

However Mansfield are hoping to retain the youngster's services as they look for an immediate return to League Two.

A Stags spokesman said: "This is not the position that we hold. We consider Alex Baptiste one of our key players and want him to remain at Field Mill for next season's campaign.

"We know this has come from Alex's agent and not himself in order to engineer a move to another club."