A veritable host of media outlets are reporting that Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is undergoing a medical at St James’ Park today.
Personally I’ve given up writing about transfer news until it looks as though we have players nearly “over the line” so with so many people saying that a medical is/has/will take place surely there is no smoke without fire?
The 23-year-old helped his club to their maiden league title last season and has been a first-team regular at the Stade de la Mosson since the 2007-2008 season, making his breakthrough when he was only 18 years of age and remaining a feature of a defence noted for it’s organisation ever since. All in all Yanga-Mbiwa has made 168 appearances for Montpellier scoring four goals.
Born in the Central African Republic, Yanga-Mbiwa moved to France as a youngster and holds dual citizenship leaving him able to represent either country internationally. However it was France who called up the then 20-year-old to their under-21 team first and Mapou has since gone on to represent the full France team three times.
A fee in the region of £6.7 million is believed to have been enough to tempt Montpellier to do business with us and I just hope we move to get this one tied up before anyone else can stick their beak in!
Yanga-Mbiwa is a physical presence at the back which is what we need, but I have a horrible feeling signing him will ensure we see the back of Fabricio Coloccini meaning that there is an awful lot of pressure on the lad to come into a new club, country and culture and get up to speed straight away.
Of course I might be wrong and Colo might stay for the remainder of the season in which case our central defender stock should be fine in terms of numbers but we’ll see.
More to follow, including the picture of him holding up the shirt at Benton, soon. Hopefully.