The Northern Echo are reporting today that Newcastle are close to agreeing an £8M deal with Anderlecht for center-back Chancel Mbemba, but the deal is proving to be more complex than the Mitrovic deal, which will be announced today.
The Belgium press are reporting the deal is for €10M, which is about £7M, and that’s a fairly decent price for a (very) good player in a position we must strengthen.
Smiling Mitrovic and Mbemba in training at Anderlecht early last week
The news today is that Newcastle will not move ahead with the deal for the 20 yea-old defender until they are sure they can get him a work permit.
Mbemba was born in Kinshasa in DR Congo allegedly in August of 1994, and the FA have just toughened their regulations two months ago, for clubs signing players from non-European Union countries, who are outside the current FIFA top 50 world rankings.
The Northern Echo is reporting Newcastle are trying to understand how a work permit application would be received – but DR Congo are currently ranked in 47th place in the latest FIFA rankings.
So we don’t see where the problem is – other than Newcastle should wrap up the deal quickly and get a work permit for the lad before the next FIFA rankings come out within the month.
The Belgium press are reporting this is a done deal, so hopefully the transfer can go through sooner rather than later, and he wants to join Newcastle and his former team-mate Aleksandar on Tyneside.
And from what we’ve seen of Aleksandar since he arrived on Tyneside, he looks like he’s just delighted to be coming, which is different from all the reports that he only wanted to join a Champions League club and was resisting joining Newcastle United.
Maybe it’s all the messages he’s received on his Facebook page from the delighted Newcastle fans, since the deal was announced in Belgium last Saturday.
There’s certainly a huge buzz going on about this lad who seems just perfect for Newcastle.
And we now know he looks great in that Newcastle strip.
Mitrovic in Newcastle strip at the Hilton yesterday
We would recommend that Aleksandar not be allowed to go for a walk in the Bigg market anytime soon, he’d be mobbed and might get injured.
Mbemba would be another great signing for us – however old he is – but he certainly looks older than the 20 he’s supposed to be.