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Barcelona and AC Milan target set to be absent for team’s opening match as transfer rumours swirl

Despite recovering from a recent thigh injury, Aymen Abdennour is set to sit out AS Monaco’s Ligue 1 opener as rumours of his imminent departure from the club persist.

According to L’Equipe, the Tunisia centre-back has been recovering from injury since the end of the last campaign, meaning that he is surely far behind his teammates in terms of his conditioning and his sharpness.

The French source confirm that the defender will have no part to play in the local derby against OGC Nice on Satuday.

However, his absence for the local derby will only serve to see the transfer speculation linking the North African with a move away from the Stade Louis II intensify.

The defender has been linked to various major sides over the last few months although, as we enter the final stages of the transfer window, he remains a Monaco player.

L’Equipe reported that West Ham United were keen on the defender, while Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were all previously understood to be keeping tabs on the stopper [AS via the Express].

European heavyweights Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich had also been tipped to be considering a move for the ex-Toulouse man [L’Equipe].

However, according to L’Equipe, Barcelona are favourites for the player’s signature, and Abdennour’s representatives have already been in Catalonia to discuss a move to the Nou Camp.

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They may yet face competition from AC Milan, with Le 10 Sport also noting that the fallen giants of Italian football were also weighing up the possibility of moving for the defender.

Both Barca and the Rossoneri may find further encouragement in Abdennour’s absence from Monaco’s opener against Nice.

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