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Stoke, Derby, Burnley to battle it out for £10m defender
Stoke City, Derby County and Burnley are embroiled in a tug-of-war over the St Etienne defender Harold Moukoudi, according to the French media.
The defender has been linked with a number of English clubs in the window, with Stoke, Derby and Burnley emerging as the three front-runners.
According to L’Equipe, the St Etienne centre-back is sought after across the channel, with the French side setting an asking price in the region of £10m.
Moukoudi is rated highly at the Ligue 1 side, who have turned down a number of loan bids in the window, as they wish to cash in on the prospect.
The 22-year-old has represented France at a number of youth levels.
St Etienne bought Moukoudi in the summer for a fee of £3.6m, meaning if the £10m asking fee is met the French outfit will have done some fantastic business.
The central defender is currently playing under the former Leicester boss Claude Puel in France, who would be sad to see him go.
L’Equipe claim, Puel and St Etienne appreciate the need for the youngster to be looking at a move away to fulfill his potential.
Burnley may be in the driving seat to sign Moukoudi given their Premier League status, however the lure of working with the likes of Wayne Rooney at Derby could be a huge advantage for the Rams.
Leeds and West Brom were also interested in the defender but the two clubs have since withdrawn their interest.
Moukoudi is not the only centre-back linked with a move to Pride Park – the club are reportedly interested in signing World Cup winner Adil Rami from Fenerbahce.
Burnley are also actively in the market for a fresh centre-half, after a move on Boro target Dael Fry was quickly shutdown.
On Trentside, Stoke are not currently linked with another defender, other than Moukoudi.
If St Etienne are happy to sell before January’s deadline, both the club and Moukoudi will not be short of options given the prospect’s undeniable talent.
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