Arsenal keen to trump Newcastle for Yanga-Mbiwa

Arsenal are considering a late move for Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who had appeared on the verge of a move to the Gunners’ Premier League rivals Newcastle United, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Newcastle have agreed a fee of £6.7m with the Ligue 1 champions for the versatile defender, who is due to travel to the North East for talks with Alan Pardew’s struggling side. But Arsene Wenger is weighing up a bid of his own for the 23-year-old, who is capable of playing across the backline or in midfield.

If Arsenal do attempt to usurp the Yanga-Mbiwa deal at the last moment then Newcastle will be staring at a repeat of the Loic Remy fiasco. That proposed transfer saw Newcastle in the driving seat to sign the Marseille striker, only for Queens Park Rangers to swoop late in negotiations and take the forward to Loftus Road.

Wenger is said to have had Yanga-Mbiwa on his radar for more almost a year but faces competition not only from Newcastle, but also potentially Italian giants Milan.

Born in the Central African Republic, Yanga-Mbiwa is a France international with a handful of caps to his name, making his bow for Les Bleus late last year. He has spent his entire senior career with Montpellier, making almost 200 appearances for the club.

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