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This story has been reproduced from today's media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool are ready to go head-to-head with Newcastle for highly-rated Valenciennes central defender Nicolas Isimat Mirin, according to reports.
The 21-year-old defender is one of a number of blossoming talents in the French league, and both the Reds and Magpies have him on their list of targets for the January transfer window.
Indeed, Liverpool are reportedly the front-runners, having been scouting Mirin all season, while Newcastle chief scout Graham Carr is also urging his club to make a bid.
The two clubs are now set to battle it out in the new year, with Valenciennes ready to do business for around £4million.
Ligue 1 outfits Lyon and PSG have also expressed an interest, but Mirin is said to favour a switch abroad, despite making just 31 first-team appearances.
According to French radio station RMC, Valenciennes would ideally opt to do business with a club that would allow Mirin to remain with them on loan until the end of the season.
Nicolas Isimat Mirin