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Can Everton take advantage of defender transfer hold up?

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Abdennour camp waiting on offers despite passing Zenit medical

FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - La Liga
Aymen Abdennour holds up some player called Lionel Messi
Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Just yesterday it was looking like a done deal. Valencia defender Aymen Abdennour has been on his way out of the club for some time now, and the player had flown to Rome for a medical to be conducted for Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg.

But now it appears, according to French outlet RMC Sport, that his representatives are looking to hold up the proposed move to Zenit in favour of a move back to France for the Tunisian international.

Abdennour had moved to Valencia in Spain just two years ago from AS Monaco, and is apparently waiting for contact from Olympique Marseille, who were spanked soundly 6-1 by Monaco last night.

However, there has been offers from Everton and West Ham United on the table for the 28-year-old defender, according to the media source. Valencia had previously turned down offers from Marseille in the €15m range earlier this summer, but a veteran defender of his experience is expected to easily command a transfer fee of that magnitude.

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Everton still need a left-sided defender who can provide cover at centerhalf and at fullback as well. The market seems to have dried up in recent days and it’s likely that any players left at this point in the transfer window will be very hotly contested.

The Blues were first linked with Abdennour last summer as a replacement for John Stones who was being sold to Manchester City, with a reported €18m bid for the player turned down.

Abdennour fell out of favour at Valencia, a club that has had a turbulent couple of seasons with multiple managerial and ownership changes affecting the team. He is strong in the air and a tough tackler as well. Not necessarily renowned for his distribution, his aggression is what is known to get him in trouble more often than not.

The veteran defender has 57 international caps and is a mainstay of the Tunisian national side, but the fit with Everton doesn’t appear to be right. The Toffees are looking to bring down the average age of a backline that has multiple members in their thirties, and would need someone younger and much more fleet of foot than Abdennour to cover for Leighton Baines in a scheme that asks a lot from fullbacks.