The Guardian is reporting that Rafa Benitez wants to bring in Manchester City’s French International center-back Eliaquim Mangala this summer and Newcastle are willing to pay £15M for him.
Rafa is trying to improve the quality in most positions in the team during this summer transfer window and center-back is one of those positions he wants to strengthen, with one or even two experienced central defenders coming into the squad.
26 year-old Eliaquim Mangala
It’s difficult to gauge exactly how much money Rafa has in this transfer window, but estimates range for £70M to £100M in cash plus anything he can get by selling players this summer.
Rafa wants to bring in as many as eight new players so the starting side in August probably has half the team being new players who have only just arrived at the club.
We don’t think Newcastle are going to be short of funds this summer.
Mangala would like to stay at City and fight for his place, but it doesn’t seem that he’s in Pep Guardiola’s plans for the future and he was on loan at Spanish side Valencia last season, where he made 30 league starts with two goals.
No doubt Rafa was kept up to date on his form by contacts he still has at the club he managed from 2001 through 2004.
Rafa was their most successful manager ever winning two La Liga titles in 2001–2002 and 2003–2004 and the UEFA Cup in 2003–2004.
Newcastle must have a decent change of signing Mangala, but we will need to move quickly for the player who made 48 appearances for City over the two seasons he spent with them in the Premier League.
Mangala is a tough physical kind of center-back with a no-nonsense approach to defending and for £15M he could be a good buy for us.
Former Blackburn captain Grant Hanley will be leaving the club this summer and captain Jamaal Lascelles and Ciaran Clark will fight it out for the starting positions in central defense.
If Rafa decides to being in a second center-back this summer it’s expected that Chancel Mbemba could also be moved out.
Valencia are reported to be one of the clubs who could be interested in signing Mangala permanently this summer.