The rumour mill was abuzz with speculation yesterday evening about a deal being struck for a defender, said to Montpellier’s captain, Mapou Tanga-Mbiwa.
The source of the rumour was said to be Sky Sports rumours page, which is way more hit than miss lets be honest, but based on the long standing interest in the talented French defender I decided to investigate rather than dismiss it off hand.
First indication that there may be some truth to it is the fact that all has gone quiet over the last month regarding this particular link, and as we know, Newcastle are quickly becoming masters in the art of media diversion.
Secondly, Mbiwa did not feature in Montpellier’s fixture this weekend, and I could find no reports about him being injured. Strange that their captain would be left out completely no?
Next, his rumoured valuation. It was said a month or so ago that an offer in the region of £6 million would be sufficient to take him out of France.
Fairly cheap considering they wanted inordinate sums of money for forward Olivier Giroud but that was reported so we’ll go off that for now.
Finally, there are whispers among corners of the rumour mill that Hatem Ben Arfa may well have had a hand in convincing the versatile Mbiwa to come to Tyneside.
Alan Pardew said Hatem was sick, so was released to part-take in the French Cup draw, which he did, but some say that was not his only port of call.
Obviously all speculation and nothing to back it up but hearsay, but I genuinely think this is one to keep an eye on until the window slams shut later on today.
He has been a long term target of Alan Pardew. He is under 26, French, versatile and has captained a Ligue 1 side, which obviously means he is a talented lad with the character to be a leader.
His rumoured value, if anywhere even close to what Montpellier want for him, also falls into our allowed spending with a bit of change left over.
Hopefully there is some substance to it and we can all put the transfer speculation to bed and look forward to a good finish to the season.
With a medical being rumoured, we’ll soon find out on this one.