Celtic are interested in securing the services of Newcastle United centre-back Chancel Mbemba. According to recent reports, the Hoops are set to battle it out with Anderlecht in pursuit of the DR Congo international. The 23-year-old defender helped Newcastle secure a direct promotion back to the Premier League last year following their relegation to the Championship in 2016. However, he has failed to have the same kind of effect in the Magpies’ first-team this season and has only featured in 10 matches for the Tyneside club in all competitions.
Mbemba has fallen out of favour at St. James’ Park but is under contract with the Magpies until the summer of 2020. It is believed that his time with the Tyneside club could be up this month with the Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers interested on landing the centre-back in January.
The former Liverpool manager is eager to add some quality to his squad as his Celtic side looks to chase a domestic treble while also trying to do well in the Europa League. Some sources are also claiming that Mbemba could be set to return to his former club Anderlecht after the Belgian Pro League champions decided to part ways with him and sanctioned a £8m move to Newcastle United back in 2015.
Newcastle are currently struggling in the Premier League and might be in for a fight to save themselves from a potential relegation going into the second half of the campaign. Rafael Benitez is looking to strengthen his squad and may need to ship out a few players in order to bring in some fresh faces in the January transfer window.
Mbemba has been deemed surplus to requirements at Tyneside in this campaign so a potential move to Celtic Park makes sense for all parties. The DR Congo skipper has made a total of 58 appearances for the Magpies and could turn out to be a shrewd signing for Brendan Rodgers’ club if they are able to agree on a deal for the centre-back.
The 23-year-old has also earned 41 international caps for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has scored 4 times for his country. His experience at the top level might help the reigning Scottish champions make a push in all four competitions during the remainder of the season. It remains to be seen whether the Hoops are successful in their attempts to fend off stiff competition in pursuit of the DR Congo captain in the near future.
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