HLN in Belgium are reporting that a deal to take Chancel Mbemba to Porto has finally been agreed between Porto and Newcastle over the weekend.
Well – that didn’t take too long, did it?
We’re not sure what held this deal up for so long – but it seems Anderlecht were still in with a shout until this weekend.
We’re not sure if the delay was just Newcastle’s run-of-the-mill intransigence, or maybe it was Rafa wanting a center-back replacement brought in before he would agree to let Mbemba leave.
Rafa doesn’t seem to trust Mike Ashley much at all – and that is based on prior experience – so he always wants players replaced before Newcastle sell somebody.
Rafa Benitez – how does he put up with this nonsense?
With this deal for Mbemba expected to go through this week maybe that’s why we are being linked with center-backs in the last few days.
Some we have been linked with include 26-year-old Swiss International Fabian Schar who played for Switzerland in this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
He has a relegation release clause in his contract at Deportivo for just €4M, and hopefully, Newcastle will activate that this week.
And there was news in the Sun yesterday that Rafa is also interested in signing 28-year-old Argentine International and Swansea center-back Federico Fernandez on loan for the season.
Either one of those talented center-backs would be a good acquisition for Newcastle to replace Chancel Mbemba.
Here’s a piece taken from the HLN report specifically about Mbemba moving to Newcastle under their mini-headline “Porto sniffed Mbemba away from Anderlecht”:
“Over the weekend, Porto and Newcastle agreed on the transfer of Chancel Mbemba. The Portuguese club sniffs the Congolese defender away from Anderlecht.”
“The Purple and White made an attempt to win Mbemba in the past few days and made a bid of €6M plus a considerable percentage on the resale but in vain.”
“Mbemba signs for 4 years at Porto.”
And in the Chronicle today they are reporting that Rafa is keen to get at least one more summer signing in this week for what he calls some “key positions.”
If the Mbemba deal does go through look for a new center-back to come in around the same time.
And maybe after weeks and weeks of negotiations, we will finally get striker Salomon Rondon from West Brom.
But it seems some of the delay for the Venezuelan could have been caused by Rondon becoming a free agent next summer.
He would then come without a transfer fee, and we assume that has bugged the Newcastle hierarchy a lot.
What do you think?