If you have been reading the British newspapers in recent days, you will have most likely read that Newcastle are close to signing French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier. The defender is scheduled to have a medical at the club today ahead of a £6.7m move. However, reports are coming out from France that Arsenal are considering a late move for the defender and that Newcastle are ‘nervous’ over Arsenal’s late interest and hope to wrap up a deal by Tuesday, before Arsenal can swoop in.
Newcastle have already missed out on one Ligue 1 star in this transfer window due to a Premier League rival coming in with a late bid for him, when Loic Remy joined QPR having appeared a certainty to replace Demba Ba at St.James’ Park. Newcastle won’t want to miss out on another player in the same manner.
If you remember back to the summer of 2011, Lille agreed a fee with Monaco for Park Chu-Young and the South Korean international even went for a medical with the French club before hearing of interest from Arsenal. He flew to London and signed for Arsenal instead, without even telling Lille that he had changed his mind!. So it can happen, just doesn’t happen all that often.
I think he would probably prefer a move to the Gunners, from what I have heard he is a versatile player and can play many positions across the defence and even in defensive midfield too. It’s the kind of player Arsenal need, but in honesty, I think it’s too late. I think he’ll sign for Newcastle.
From what I have read online, the newspaper this came out of in France (Le10sport) is the equivalent of The Sun in the UK. So chances are, this story was written by the French journalists to sell papers and also fill up space in the sports section. But we will have to wait and see. I think we are most likely to see him pictured at St.James’ tomorrow with his Newcastle shirt on.
The rumour has reached Twitter, it has been reported by the Guardian and was also mentioned on Sky Sports News earlier this afternoon. So it is gathering momentum, whether it is true or not, it remains to be seen.