Newcastle United are reportedly prepared to compete with Arsenal for the pursuit of Olympiacos defender Pape Abou Cisse.

According to The Sun, Newcastle United are ready to steal a march on Arsenal in pursuit of Pape Abou Cisse. The 26-year-old Olympiacos centre-back has emerged as a sought-after prospect in the market following his excellent performances in the Africa Cup of Nations. Cisse was previously linked with a move to Arsenal, but it appears Newcastle have emerged as the front-runners after holding talks with his agents.

The Magpies are keen on completing the deal within the remaining days of the January transfer window. They are prepared to fork out £12 million for the centre-back, with Olympiacos themselves open to sanctioning a potential sale.

A part of Olympiacos since early 2017, Cisse has made 119 competitive appearances during his five-year spell at the club. The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the top defenders in the Greek top-flight, impressing the onlookers with his performances in the European competitions and, most recently, the Africa Cup of Nations.

Filling in for Kalidou Koulibaly in Senegal’s defence, Cisse has even emerged as one of the best performers in AFCON. His contributions at the back have helped Senegal top their group and qualify for the knockout stages. His performances have not gone unnoticed, with Newcastle United prepared to make a move for the defender.

BELGRADE, SERBIA - JULY 25: Pape Abou Cisse of Olympiacos warm up prior the UEFA Champions League Qualifying match between FC Partizan and Olympiacos on July 25, 2017 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Pape Abou Cisse continues to perform in AFCON. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

The Magpies have brought in Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood so far this January, but they are yet to upgrade their ranks at centre-back. Newcastle have been linked with a move for Duje Caleta-Car lately but are expected to face stiff competition from Tottenham Hotspur. It has compelled Eddie Howe to target other alternatives in the market, with Cisse fitting the bill perfectly.

Arsenal have been described as the other club interested in the Olympiacos centre-back. The Gunners have been monitoring the progress of the Senegalese international for quite a while. But it is no surprise that they are yet to make a move, as Mikel Arteta is more than happy with his current central defensive options, including Rob Holding.

It should pave the way for Newcastle United to complete the capture of Pape Abou Cisse within the coming days. As mentioned earlier, Olympiacos are not expected to stand in the player’s way, especially having brought in Kostas Manolas in the summer. So it is up to the 26-year-old and the club to reach an agreement regarding personal terms and complete the move before the transfer window slams to a shut, in little more than a week.

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