Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa looks likely to leave Newcastle United this summer…
Newcastle United defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa looks set to complete a move to St Etienne, eighteen months after leaving French side Montpellier – according to reports in the Newcastle Chronicle.
The 25-year-old enjoyed an excellent first spell in France, making 219 appearances and surprisingly winning the Ligue 1 title during the 2011-12 season.
Alan Pardew thought he’d secured something of coup when he paid Montpellier £8.5m for Mbiwa’s services in January of last year, but the player has struggled to settle on Tyneside.
The three-time French international made 37 Premier League appearances in his year and a half spell with Newcastle, but following several high-profile errors he was used mainly as a full-back or a substitute.
Yanga-Mbiwa has reportedly spoken to St Etienne and both parties are confident a deal can be completed this week. Both Lens and Bordeux registered an interest but could not meet the player’s demands.
The player is keen on the move, and a fee is all that remains to be agreed – with Newcastle looking to recoup as much of their money as possible.
St Etienne finished fourth in the French league last season, securing a place in the preliminary rounds of the Europa League, and Mbiwa is enthusiastic about the prospect of playing European football.
The move will leave Newcastle with just three natural established central defenders – Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor.