Rafa Benitez reportedly met with Manchester City Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, to discuss two possible summer transfer earlier this month – the two players in question were Brazilian midfielder Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala, the French defender.

As always, Manchester City have more players than they know what to do with and both these alleged Newcastle targets were signed in summer 2014 well before Pep Guardiola took over.

French international Mangala is now 26 and has spent this season on loan at Valencia where he made 30 La Liga starts, the team ending up 12th in the table.

He cost around £35m three years ago when arriving from Porto and whilst any fee would be well below that figure, it would have still been a massive amount for a Spanish club relying on the relatively meagre TV deal for most La Liga clubs – with no Champions League cash to fund any potential signings.

Mangala made 47 Premier League starts in his first two years at Man City and will be hoping to make a return to the French national squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia. He was a squad member at the 2016 Euro Finals, making one sub appearance in the 5-2 win over Iceland, but has only featured on the bench for France once (November 2016) since then.

Plaza Deportiva, a Valencia based media organisation, have today given an update on the situation.

They say that their information is that Valencia club officials travelled to Manchester on Friday to meet the World’s allegedly richest agent, Jorge Mendes.

As well as looking after the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese ‘super agent’ is also responsible for 10 of the players who turned out for Valencia this past season, including Eliaquim Mangala.

Plaza Deportiva report that the primary reason for travelling to Manchester was to find out the situation regarding Mangala but that the news was not positive.

They say that Valencia made clear to Manchester City that they wanted the central defender but that City are aiming for 20m euros (approx £17m) and that is well above what the La Liga club could afford. With the news from the Etihad that allegedly Newcastle have already offered £13m for Mangala.

Even that amount is said to be difficult for Valencia to match, so Newcastle allegedly in pole position.

Whilst no transfers can formally go through until the transfer window officially opens in July, there does appear to be a fair amount of negotiating going on in the meantime, including of course Christian Atsu agreeing a permanent move to Newcastle.

Whether Newcastle United have a serious interest in Eliaquim Mangala, or any others of the host of players Manchester City will be ditching this summer, remains to be seen.

As does making sense of the host of transfer stories that are appearing every day…



  • Andy Mac

    Three suspensions in 30 games for Valencia ? Dont think that’s worth paying top dollar for ?

    • Clarko

      Did you watch any of his 30 games for Valencia?

      • Allan Kidd

        I watched them all…he is rubbish.

        • Clarko

          What made you come to that conclusion?

      • Andy Mac

        No but I saw him playing for Citeh and he looked out of his depth !

        • Clarko

          Manchester City saw something to pay £26m for him and it seems that Valencia are keen to sign him permanently.

          • Andy Mac

            “Manchester City saw something to pay £26m for him”

            Now they’re getting rid for as much as they can get but a lot less than £26m ? That should tell you something ?

          • Clarko

            “Now they’re getting rid for as much as they can get but a lot less than £26m ? That should tell you something ?”, are those statements or questions?

            I have never seen him play for Valencia and I don’t recall seeing him play for Manchester City, although I do remember the negative press and criticism he received when he did. However he has performed well enough in the past to warrant the attention of the best clubs in the world, Alfredo Pedulla reported back in 2013 that Rafa Benitez was interested in signing Mangala for Napoli indicating that he’s a player that Benitez admires and has admired for a long time. Valencia are interested but have reportedly been priced out of a deal (via talksport), he has done enough to impress there.

            To clarify I am not arguing about the quality of the player, I am arguing that Rafa Benitez knows the quality of the player, which is something you should consider before questioning the transfer or the player.

          • Andy Mac

            “To clarify I am not arguing about the quality of the player, I am
            arguing that Rafa Benitez knows the quality of the player, which is
            something you should consider before questioning the transfer or the
            player”

            Jesus Gamez, Mat Selz, Lazaar. Rafa is the best manager we’ve had since SBR but he doesnt walk on water.

          • Clarko

            I never said he does “walk on water”, and I never said that he is incapable of making a mistake or that he hasn’t made a mistake, you’re trying to use a straw man.

          • Andy Mac

            No but what you did say was “To clarify I am not arguing about the quality of the player, I am
            arguing that Rafa Benitez knows the quality of the player, which is
            something you should consider before questioning the transfer or the
            player”

            So maybe he didnt know the quality of Sels, Gamez and Lazaar ? Bottom line is Mangala is being sold for a lot less money than they paid for him. Usually when a club believes they have a good player they want more than they paid for him ??????

            Thassit end of !

          • Clarko

            Again, is that a question or a statement? Are you stating that Benitez did not scout the players you’ve listed?

            Is it not more likely that Manchester City just overpaid for Mangala? Could it not be that Mangala just isn’t good enough to be playing for title challengers? Is that the sort of player you’re expecting Newcastle to sign, a player capable of playing for the best clubs in the world? Would you feel the same way if Newcastle signed the likes of Andy Carroll, Angel Di Maria, Morgan Schneiderlin or Gylfi Sigurdsson who have all been sold at a loss previously, are those playes not good enough?

  • Steve Smith

    Would love for us to get him in. Similar to Mbemba in that he’s very fast for a centre back and relies on his speed to make up for poor positioning.

    Unlike mbemba he’s tall and strong.

    With a full pre season under a strict defensive minded manager in Rafa he could be a very good defender for us.

    It was only a couple of years ago that people were using words like world class. He’s got potential but City need a trophy every season.

  • Kev-82

    He looked a liability in the City defence, I have more confidence in Clark, Mbemba & Lascelles than I do in Mangala.

    • Pickaname

      Absolutely right – typical city signing /punt – avoid

  • nevfur

    Like all these links I will wait and see what actually happens but trust Rafa to get more signings right than wrong and be a better judge than any of us blathering away on here

  • Geordiegiants

    I personally think that we have three very good young centre halves that just need a bit of moulding, we need a solid old time partner for them. Mbemeba didn’t play much last season granted, but neither did Atsu and he hasn’t kept him.

    • Kyle

      Sell mbemba and Hanley. Depending how many we sign I’d potentially sell one of lascelles or Clark too. I’d sign Maguire, Gibson and I think mangala would be a good purchase at £13million-there is a player benitez can mould. Mbemba has no positional instinct-liability!

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      I agree with you again, the players are decent it’s just they could do with an old sage to direct them.

  • anyobrien

    Dont know any of these players I must be getting old

    • Clarko

      You do not know Mangala or Fernando?

      • Andy Mac

        Fernando used to play with Abba AnyO

  • Toonrobbybobson

    He is actually really good in the air something we are rubbish at. Didn’t get time to settle at Citeh and Valencia wanted him after his loan. Be good business. Trust Rafa!

  • NUFCDan

    Not sure why were getting linked with center backs, I’m reasonably happy going into the season with Mbemba, Clark and Lascelles plus Dummett to be fourth choice once we buy a new left back. Left back, defensive centre mid, number 10 and a goalscoring winger needs to be priorities.

    • Andy Mac

      The probable answer is we’re not looking for CB’s but the “media” think we should ?