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Mapou Yanga Mbiwa completes Newcastle move

Updated: Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013 12:22 | Comments

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has joined Newcastle
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has joined Newcastle

Defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has completed his much-anticipated move to Newcastle from Montpellier for an undisclosed fee.

The France international has been heavily linked with a move to Tyneside in the January transfer window, with a fee agreed for the centre-back on Saturday.

And Yanga-Mbiwa agreed a five-and-a-half-year deal this evening to strengthen Newcastle's backline.

"It is an honour to be able to come to Newcastle United and have the chance to play in the Premier League," Yanga-Mbiwa told the club's official website.

The 23-year-old came through the youth ranks with Montpellier and made over 200 appearances in six years with the reigning Ligue 1 champions.

But a move to Newcastle looked increasingly likely after he told their official website he would relish playing in the Premier League.

And after becoming the Magpies' second signing of the January transfer window - after compatriot Mathieu Debuchy - he added: "Newcastle are one of the biggest clubs in the league, and I'm going to try and give everything I have so that the team can do well.

"I have experienced a lot of positive things so far in my career and one of those is joining this club."

The transfer is likely to alleviate some worries Newcastle have over their backline, which has struggled to keep teams at bay in recent months - particularly in the away defeats against Manchester United and Arsenal over the festive period.

Boss Alan Pardew said: "We needed to strengthen the team and bringing in Mapou will give the whole squad a boost.

"He is precisely the sort of player we've been looking to bring to the club.

"He is a good age for us but has plenty of experience at club and international level.

"Mapou is a talented footballer, good in the air and on the ground and has all the attributes to succeed as a quality defender in the Premier League.

"He's a good character too and that will be important for us over the next few months."

However, Yanga-Mbiwa's arrival may add weight to the suggestion want-away skipper Fabricio Coloccini is edging ever closer to the exit door, with the 30-year-old understood to be keen on a return to his native Argentina.

The signing is the first of a possible four that may go through before they are next in action against fellow Premier League strugglers Aston Villa next Tuesday.

Yoan Gouffran

Bordeaux forward Yoan Gouffran announced on Twitter he was set to join the growing French contingent on Tyneside.

He wrote: "Big thanks to everyone who has supported me through the good times and bad times. I thank the leadership of the club and the staff for helping me grow.

"I need a new challenge and therefore I hope that you respect my choice. I will follow all the results of the Girondins (Bordeaux).

"Tomorrow I will be a new player of Newcastle and I am proud. Thanks to everyone....kisses."

Gouffran was left out of Bordeaux's squad for tomorrow's Coupe de France match against Moulins. He was listed as "absent" rather than named on the injured or suspended lists by Bordeaux.

His Bordeaux contract is due to expire in the summer and the question of whether he would renew has lingered for months, with his declaration that Newcastle have attracted him to England apparently bringing the saga to an end.

Pardew is also expected to bring in defender Massadio Haidara from Ligue 1 strugglers Nancy, who confirmed they have reached an agreement over the sale of the 20-year-old full-back.

Their statement said: "After 46 games and two and a half years in the Nancy shirt, Massadio Haidara is leaving for Newcastle United, currently 16th in the Premier League.

"The two clubs have reached an agreement and will finalise the transfer on Tuesday."

Hopes are also high that Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko can be persuaded to move to Newcastle.

The 22-year-old was left out of the squad for Toulouse's scheduled Coupe de France clash with Paris St Germain tomorrow night.

The deals will come as a great relief for Pardew, who was put under more pressure by Saturday's shock 2-1 home defeat to Reading, which left Newcastle languishing just two points above the relegation zone.

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