Liverpool & Newcastle chase £3m France U21 defender

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Liverpool and Newcastle United are competing for the signature of highly rated France Under-21 international Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, reports The Sun.

The Valenciennes defender is rated at around £3million, and could be on his way to the Premier League in January.

A product of France's esteemed national academy, Clairefontaine, Isimat-Mirin has been tipped for a bright future in the game, and is attracting growing interest from a number of clubs.

His agent, Mikkel Beck, has confirmed his client is very ambitious and has been encouraged by the level of enquiries in his availability, saying: "He wants to join a really big club."

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is known to be in the market for reinforcements in the New Year, but whether a centre-back is high on his list of priorities is unclear.

Liverpool have a strong partnership with Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel, while Sebastien Coates and club veteran Jamie Carragher provide ample Anfield cover. However, with the latter entering the twilight of his career, perhaps Rodgers is looking to the future by considering a move for Isimat-Mirin.

Alan Pardew by comparison, has been hit with a succession of injuries at the heart of his defence this season, so it's only natural to assume he will be considering bringing in cover for first-choice pairing Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson at St James' Park.

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