Newcastle United have made an approach to Valencia for Aymen Abdennour according to reports on Thursday afternoon.
The 27 year old (turns 28 in August) central defender is being targeted by Rafa Benitez according to Foot Mercato.
Also wanting to sign the player are Marseille and Everton, according to the media reports.
A number of different angles on this one, with of course the fact that Rafa Benitez won two La Liga titles at the Spanish club, being one of them.
Interestingly though, when checking back, just over two years ago the agent of Aymen Abdennour said Newcastle had made a ‘concrete offer’ for the then Monaco defender. This was of course in the aftermath of Newcastle staying up only on the final day v West Ham, when John Carver had done his best to relegate NUFC.
Valencia were named as one of the other clubs that had made a ‘concrete offer’ and Aymen Abdennour moved there, with Champions League football on offer.
Valencia paid Monaco 25m euros (£22m at today’s exchange rate) but Foot Mercato believe that 15m euros (around £13m) would be enough to land him this time.
After making the move, Abdennour made 22 La Liga starts and 27 altogether in 2015/16, though he had a couple of periods of time out with hamstring problems.
This past season though, despite Valencia struggling (finished 12th in La Liga), Aymen Abdennour made only nine league starts but sat on the bench for 15 La Liga games, though hamstring problems once again ruled him out in two separate spells again.
Once a highly rated sought after defender, can Rafa Benitez bring the best out of him if there is substance in the transfer report.
Despite a lack of games for his club, Abdennour has continued to be first choice for his country and represented Tunisia in the finals of the African Cup of Nations earlier this year.
The Mag – 29 May 2015:
Newcastle United have made an offer for Monaco centre-back Aymen Abdennour according to the player’s agent, Abdelkader Jilani.
The 25 year old Tunisian international moved for around £11m from Toulouse to Monaco only 18 months ago.
Only last month Get French Football News reported that Newcastle had made a failed approach for Abdennour.
Despite only being at Monaco for a year, in April the defender was reported to be interested in a move this summer but his agents had told Newcastle that it would have to be a club that can offer European football.
Abdennour’s agent appears to now confirm an offer(s) from Newcastle but we are not alone, with Jilani saying that Spurs, Valencia and Inter Milan have also made ‘concrete offers’ for the highly rated defender.
“Given the season that Aymen has had, there is interest from all over the world. We have received calls from clubs and sporting directors, but for now nothing [has been decided].
“Clubs including Valencia, Newcastle, Tottenham, Inter Milan and Wolfsburg have called. We have received concrete offers from these teams, and they are really interested in Aymen.”
Monaco have finished third in Ligue 1 and qualified once again for the Champions League, so it is a little difficult imagining a player at his peak being prepared to move to a club that can’t even offer Europa League football, or the likelihood of European football around the corner.