Newcastle United are on the verge of increasing the already sizable French contingent of their squad.
Montpellier’s Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Nancy’s Massadio Haidara are set to join the Magpies and should they do so would join up with fellow countrymen Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan, Mathieu Debuchy and Romain Amalfitano.
Haidara’s signature has been agreed and it is understood that Mbiwa has arrived in Newcastle ahead of his proposed move. Manager Alan Pardew had promised to strengthen his defence during the January transfer window and the acquisition of Mbiwa and Haidara would mean the addition of two more defenders to his team. Newcastle’s captain Fabricio Coloccini is unsure about his future at the club due to personal reasons and could be moving home to Argentinean club San Lorenzo. If this move materialises then the arrival of Mbiwa and Haidara to Tyneside will soften the blow of losing their skipper.
Not only does Pardew need to add to his defensive resources, but a striker is nothing short of a necessity in order for his team to climb up the table and out of the relegation battle. Since Demba Ba leaving for Chelsea, Papiss Cissé has not really impressed in leading the line and apart from the aging Shola Ameobi, options are limited up front for the manager. No surprise then that Yoan Gouffran is also being with a move to Newcastle. Bordeaux have already turned down a €750,000 bid for their striker, but the Magpies are understood to be willing to table an offer of about €1.2mn, and that should be enough to satisfy the French club’s demands given that he could leave for nothing in the summer.
Moussa Sissoko is also likely to join Newcastle before the close of the transfer window. QPR, Tottenham and Everton were all also reported to be interested in the player, but having already lost the race for attacker Loic Remy to the QPR, Newcastle look set to beat them to the signature of Sissoko. The Toulouse midfielder is a close friend of Yohan Cabaye and the deal to bring him to St. James’ Park is reported to be at an advanced stage.
France has long been a happy hunting ground for Newcastle’s scouts and it seems that the Magpies have a big advantage in luring more French talent to the club. Alan Pardew claims to speak a little French, team instructions are written out in French and English, and with so many former Ligue 1 players at the club already, it is easy to why several more are being linked with a move to Tyneside.