West Ham and Newcastle set to battle Barcelona for Ligue 1 ace

Toulouse defender Aymen AbdennourWest Ham United and Newcastle are set to battle it out with Barcelona for the signing of Toulouse defender Aymen Abdennour, according to Talksport

The Tunisian international has been earning rave reviews in the French league this season, interesting a host of top European sides, including Barcelona.

The Catalan giants have already sent their representatives to watch the defender in action as they source a long-term replacement for club legend Carlos Puyol.

But it now looks as though Barcelona won’t have it all their own way as they battle for his signature with Newcastle and West Ham declaring their interest in the defender.

Magpies boss Alan Pardew will fancy his chances of bringing Abdennour to the club having achieved a number of successful Ligue 1 raids over the last couple of seasons, including the signings of influential midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa.

But Sam Allardyce is also said to be keen on bringing the big Tunisian to the Premier League and the West Ham manager is desperate to provide defensive competition to his backline as he tries to build his defence around New Zealand captain Winston Reid.

Any move from an English club will of course depend on Barcelona’s involvement as neither side will be able to match a bid from the Spanish side.

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