The latest in Belgium on Thursday morning sees reports of Newcastle also targeting Chancel Mbemba as well as teammate Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Daily newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (HLN) confirm that a fee between Anderlecht and Newcastle has been agreed for the Serbian striker, with only the player still to decide whether he will move to Tyneside.
However, HLN also claim that during the talks between the two clubs on Mitrovic, Newcastle have also expressed an interest in taking Chancel Mbemba, the DR Congo international centre-back.
Both Mbemba and Mitrovic (pictured) have been left out of Anderlecht’s last two friendlies in anticipation of transfers for the pair, with time pressing as the Belgian League kicks off again in only 10 days time.
Atletico Madrid , Wolfsburg and Borussia Moenchengladbach are all said to have shown interest in Mbemba, but are understood to have been deterred by the high asking price.
Newcastle have been linked with Chancel Mbemba for some time and back in April Het Laatste Nieuws stated that they had spoken to Mbemba’s agents, who told them that the reports of Newcastle interest in signing him are true. At that time it was stated that the defender had a buyout clause of around £6m.
Chancel Mbemba has also found notoriety in bizarre circumstances, while Anderlecht state that he will turn 21 on the day the Premier League kicks off again (8 August), a FIFA investigation has looked into claims that allege he may in reality be as old as 27 on this next birthday.
In a probe into certain players’ ages, FIFA looked into the case of the defender from Congo.
Back in 2013 CNN revealed:
‘Mbemba was registered by his two first Congolese clubs as being born in 1988, according to documents obtained by CNN. Yet for a Cup of Nations qualifier in June 2011, his year of birth was listed as November 30, 1991.
Meanwhile, the birth date recorded by his Belgian club Anderlecht is August 8, 1994.
Just to complicate matters, Mbemba himself, thinks he was born in 1990.’
The Belgian media also reported in March that Graham Carr, Newcastle’s Chief Scout, had been over to Belgium to run the rule over the player personally, as well as going to Equatorial Guinea to watch him at the African Cup on Nations.
The centre-back played in all six DR Congo matches in January/February, including the third place play-off where he scored one of the penalties in the shoot-out after extra-time, which DR Congo won 4-2.
Over the course of two seasons at Anderlecht, Mbemba has played 79 times and scored 9 goals.