Report: Bournemouth leading chase for Newcastle and Celtic-linked Papy Djilobodji

Papy Djilobodji has apparently held talks with AFC Bournemouth over a potential move to England

Winners of the Championship, AFC Bournemouth are already looking towards the new season. Reports on French website 20 minutes suggest that the newly promoted club have paid a visit to FC Nantes in order to enquire about the possible purchase of centre-back Papy Djilobodji.

The 26-year-old is out of contract in the summer of 2016 and has already been linked, by Mercato365, with moves to Newcastle United, Sunderland and Celtic, per the Express, this season.

Last Thursday it is understood that a delegation from Bournemouth arrived at the club to discuss a move with the player and Franck Kita, Nantes' director general.

Any move would cost around €5 million, and with Nantes not wanting to lose him on a free transfer, the move shouldn’t face much difficulty, if the player is interested.

Despite Nantes’ less than stellar season, the Senegalese centre-back has been impressive throughout. According to WhoScored, he is one of the top defenders when it comes to interceptions and clearances, averaging 3.2 and 8.7 respectively. At one stage no-one had made more clearances, his average up at 10.5, but as Nantes struggled to maintain form, naturally that dropped a little.

Stats are nothing without context, but this is impressive from a centre-back starting for a Nantes side that are currently 12th in Ligue 1. Before Christmas, Les Canaris had the best defensive record in the league.

The partnership of Djilobodji and Venezuelan Oswald Vizcarrondo has been superb, with the 26-year-old African defender ever impressive. He is quick across the ground, dominant in the air and usually positions himself in the right areas

Djilobodji has the perfect physical attributes to compete and thrive in the Premier League. His attitude and desire could make for the perfect combination for the newly promoted side from the south coast.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch