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Bayern Munich target Marseille defender

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Pep Guardiola will attempt to make Marseille defender Nicolas N'Koulou his first official signing as Bayern Munich manager, according to reports in French newspaper Mercato. 

With Bayern officials having already secured deals for Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze and youngster Jan Kirchhoff before the new boss' arrival, the Cameroonian international could become the first player signed under the Spaniard's stewardship. 

A summer recruitment drive for attacking players that has already targeted the likes of Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale and Robert Lewandowski, will be put on hold for the time being as Guardiola looks for a player capable of partnering Dante at the heart of his Munich defence.

Current defensive options include Holger Badstuber, a regular under previous coach Jupp Heynckes, who has been ruled out until at least January with the reoccurrence of an ACL injury, and Rafinha, who has been linked with a return to to Schalke. 

The experienced Daniel van Buyten has signed a new contract, but is likely to only be used as cover, which leaves Jerome Boateng as the only viable option to start alongside the Brazilian international.

N'Koulou, who has started 68 games for Marseille over the last two seasons since moving from Monaco, and played a big part in securing his side a second place finish in Ligue 1 last season as Les Phocéens conceded just 36 goals. N'Koulou's current contract with Marseille runs until June 2015, but he has a release clause set at €14m.

His former side, now backed by billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev, are also interested in signing the 23 year-old, and are reportedly prepared to offer as much as €20m along with a more prestigious contract. 

Marseille reportedly remain confident of holding onto a player who is quickly becoming one of their most prized assets; however, an offer from the European champions could be hard to turn down for both the club and the player. 

 

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