French international Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa looks set for a January transfer across the British Channel after rumours of interest from Arsenal and Newcastle for the defender were reported.
The Montpellier captain, who can also play in a defensive midfield role, was the subject of a £4.8million bid from AC Milan over the summer but has remained with the French champions as they look to retain the Ligue 1 title that they surprisingly won last season.
The 23-year old refused to sign a new contract over the summer and will be free to leave the club at the end of the season, and it is likely that his club will look to cash in during the next transfer window and not risk losing one of their main assets for nothing in the summer.
Alan Pardew and Arsene Wenger have both registered their interest in Yanga-Mbiwa and it maybe he himself that has to make a decision on where his future lies.
But who should he sign for?
Newcastle are certainly a team on the up due to the attacking flair and exciting football that former West Ham boss Pardew has brought to St James’ Park, but defence is an area where they could certainly improve.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini has been one of their standout performers since they returned to the Premier League in 2010, but he has yet to find a regular partner at the centre of defence. Stephen Taylor and Mike Williamson have both performed admirably but the man who was born in the Central African Republic would be confident of winning a place in the starting line-up ahead of them.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are not short of central defenders but may see the young Frenchman as someone who could cover in both defence and in midfield, especially after the sale of Alexander Song to Barcelona last month.
The Emirates Stadium outfit should still be in the Champions League by January after being given a favourable group draw (including playing Montpellier) and that could be the thing that turns his head towards the capital, although he may find regular football more forthcoming in the North East.
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