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Everton and Newcastle to battle for Ligue 1 ace

Everton are ready to rival Newcastle for the signature of Montpellier defender Benjamin Stambouli, according to the Daily Mirror.

The 23-year-old is capable of playing in either defence or midfield, and would be available for as little as £2million, with his contract set to expire in 2015.

The Toffees have recently sent scouts to watch him in action, and believe he could prove a valuable squad player for next season.

Montpellier have struggled in Ligue 1 this season, and have been fighting against relegation.

However, Stambouli has been an ever-present this season, and has caught the eye with some assured displays.

He has caught the eye of several European clubs with his performances, while both Everton and Newcastle are keen to bring him to the Premier League.

Newcastle know the French market especially well, but would have to deal with Montpellier president Louis Nicollin if they were to strike a deal.

Nicollin blocked the Toon’s move for Remy Cabella last January, and was very vocal on why the French winger should opt for a move to London instead.

Everton may well prove a more attractive option for Stambouli, with Roberto Martinez’s side looking certain to be playing in European competition next season, with Champions League qualification still a real possibility.

Article title: Everton and Newcastle to battle for Ligue 1 ace

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