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According to talkSPORT, Newcastle United and West Ham United are vying with Barcelona for the services of Toulouse defender Aymen Abdennour.
The Tunisian international is a highly touted prospect at the back: good passer (completes 86.1 percent of his passes), strong in the air and asserts himself on the game.
One concern is his tendency to commit needless fouls and his tackles to free kicks conceded (45 to 34) isn't flash.
He is Toulouse's MVP, according to L'Équipe's player ratings.
Newcastle is a realistic destination as they need another centre-back.
Fabricio Coloccini is longing for a return to Argentina (per Nicholas McGee at Goal.com); Steven Taylor is always an injury-worry; the club can do better than Michael Williamson and James Perch.
Possibly, Alan Pardew could have a Abdennour-Mapou and Yanga-Mbiwa partnership, which should ensure the Toon having a top-half rated defence—as opposed to the team that has let in 52 goals in 30 league games (even bottom placed Queens Park Rangers have conceded less goals; 48).
Moving on to West Ham United...
Do they want to persist with James Tomkins or upgrade to Abdennour?
James Collins is average, so it wouldn't be a big deal if he left.
Should Winston Reid continue to progress, he could be one of the best centre-backs in the league.
Newcastle's project would appeal more to Aymen than joining West Ham. Though, neither club have a chance if Barça coming calling.