Newcastle Still "Very Much In The Mix" For £15m International Defender

There's plenty of competition for Abdennour - but NUFC remain interested.

Newcastle United have identified €œone of the best defenders in Europe€ as a prime transfer target this summer - and they are still "very much in the mix" for Aymen Abdennour, according to a report. HITC Sport claim that the Magpies have earmarked Abdennour as being the man who can become Fabricio Coloccini's long-term successor, and that he is receptive to moving to Tyneside. Reports last month claimed that the Magpies had opened the expected bidding war for the centre-back by offering ‚17 million (£12 million) for the Tunisian international, something Abdennour€™s agent denied - and Monaco want north of £15 million anyway.
The 25-year-old centre-back has been on Newcastle€™s radar for several seasons having impressed at Toulouse and then Monaco in Ligue 1 but there is a long list of suitors queuing up to entice him away from the Stade Louis II - including Arsenal, Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan. Speaking to Italian site Calciomercato last month, Abdennour's agent Abdelkader Jilani spoke very highly of his client. He said of his player:
€œAbdennour is one of the best defenders on the European stage and it€™s only natural he is admired. €œThere were some proposals from England and Spain, while in Italy there were only enquiries €“ so no official offer on the table or negotiations in progress. €œAt the moment he has a contract with Monaco, so anyone who wants him must speak to the Principality club. They deserve respect. €œWhat I can say right now is there there is nothing concrete with Italian clubs €“ Italy is an option, but the right offer must come in.€
Capped 33 times by Tunisia, Abdennour is regarded as one of the most-consistent defensive performers in France. Newcastle, Arsenal and Everton are just a few of the Premier League sides who would love to bring him to England for the start of the season. The 6ft 2in centre-back started his career at ‰toile du Sahel in his native Tunisia, spending six months on loan at Werder Bremen in 2010, before moving to Toulouse in 2011. A transfer to Monaco then followed last summer after an impressive six-month loan spell. In all he has made 140 league appearances, scoring eight times. For all the latest NUFC News, Views and Transfers make sure to follow on Twitter and Facebook.
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NUFC editor for History graduate (University of Edinburgh) and NCTJ-trained journalist. I love sports, hopelessly following Newcastle United and Newcastle Falcons. My pastimes include watching and attending sports matches religiously, reading spy books and sampling ales.