During the winter break, Sky Sport Italia broke the story that there was a clause in Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s loan agreement, which meant that if the Frenchman played twenty times during his loan spell then AS Roma were obliged to make the deal permanent with a £5.5m transfer fee.

Going into the weekend, the on-loan Newcastle defender had played in 13 Serie A games, 5 Champions League matches and 1 domestic cup game, so all eyes were on the team selection on Sunday night..

mapou yanga-mbiwaAS Roma played away at Fiorentina and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa did indeed make his twentieth appearance for the club from the Italian capital.

The centre-back played the full game and was booked in a 1-1 draw, so we now await whether indeed the much talked about clause is actually there and is automatically activated.

More importantly for Newcastle fans, is waiting to see whether any potential incoming funds will make any difference to United’s inactivity in the transfer market this January.

Roma manager Rudi Garcia clearly likes the player as he has been almost an ever present since getting his chance back in September.

Financially, despite the poor state of Italian football both on and off the pitch, Roma should have no problems funding any permanent transfer. Despite now trailing top of the table Juventus by 7 points, AS Roma look nailed on for Champions League football again next season as they are eight points clear of third.