Newcastle beat Arsenal to signing of Montpellier captain.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will be a Newcastle United player providing he passes a medical at St James’ Park, with a late attempt from Arsenal to convince the France international to consider the north London club in vain.
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The 23 year-old leaves Montpellier HSC having brought them a great deal of success – the team won the Ligue 1 title last season with him as captain.
Newcastle will get a defender who is a leader, strong in the air and with the ball at his feet, and fierce in the tackle.
He will join a growing French contingent on Tyneside, with Mathieu Debuchy, Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan already at St James’ Park – and Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko likely to join Yanga-Mbiwa and the others shortly.
Yanga-Mbiwa will likely play in central defence for the Magpies, as the situation of current captain Fabricio Coloccini remains precarious.
Coloccini seems set on a move to home club San Lorenzo, though Newcastle are understandably reluctant to lose one of their best players at this stage of the season.
In Yanga-Mbiwa though, they have a more than suitable replacement on paper.
If he is able to adapt to the Premier League quickly, he could soon be worth far more than the reported £7.5m that Newcastle have paid for him.
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