Arsenal and Liverpool are set to go head-to-head in the race to sign defender Nicolas N’Koulou, according to reports.

The Daily Star claims both the Gunners and Reds are showing a keen interest in the 23-year-old Marseille defender, with Newcastle United also pursuing the Cameroonian international.

And, whilst the Ligue 1 club are eager to keep N’Koulou at the Stade Vélodrome, the sales of Loic Remy and Stephane Mbia have shown that the club are willing to consider doing business, the paper reports.

Arsenal have shuffled their centre back pairings on a number of occasions this season, with Arsene Wenger using Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen in the main.

N’Koulou would add additional strength-in-depth to the Gunners line-up, but the Emirates Stadium outfit are unlikely to have a transfer battle all their own way.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is in the market for a defender, with Anfield legend Jamie Carragher set to retire at the end of the season.

That leaves Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger and Sebastian Coates vying for chances, and with the Uruguayan yet to impress on Merseyside, reinforcements are needed.

N’Koulou’s solid ball skills make him an obvious target for Liverpool, given the style Rodgers loves to play, and his previous omission that L'OM might have to sell him will only fuel transfer talk further in the coming months.

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