Monday morning sees the Belgian media not only report that Aleksandar Mitrovic is having his United medical today but that Newcastle have also agreed a deal to sign his Anderlecht teammate Chancel Mbemba.

Nieuwsblad.be say that a fee of around £7m (10m euros) has been agreed for the 20 year old after Newcastle were assured that the central defender could potentially have an attractive resale value, as he is indeed 20 years old and not 27 (see background to that below).

There was also the potential issue of a work permit due to his country DR Congo’s lowly ranking, however Nieuwsblad.be say that on that side of things Newcastle have also had confirmation that a work permit to play in the Premier League won’t be a problem either.

Once Newcastle were given these assurances then it is reported their offer topped Wolfsburg and Atletico Madrid who weren’t prepared to match United’s deal.

Both Mbemba and Mitrovic had been left out of Anderlecht’s two friendlies previous to this weekend in anticipation of transfers for the pair, with time pressing as the Belgian League kicks off again in only 6 days time. Then on Sunday as Mitrovic flew into Newcastle Airport, Chancel Mbema was again left out of Anderlecht’s latest friendly, watching his teammates (for now anyway) play against Lazio.

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.

Anderlecht manager Besnik Hasi has described Mbemba:

“He has great class, he may not be tall if you compare him to some defenders but he is so fast and can jump so high, plus he’s a really good footballer too.”

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.



  • Durham_CK

    This would be another good quality signing but if it does come off then we would still need another centre half to partner him as colo, Williamson and Taylor are not up to the job. The rebuilding of the squad is coming along nicely providing Mitrovic signs. A potential exciting season coming up, when was the last time we could say that.

  • PhilHill2

    We need height in the box.  Im not sure this is such a great signing.  But hopefully I will be proved wrong.

  • TimBoddy

    Is anyone getting any happier? Wijnaldum, Mitrovic, now this lad, and still possibly Charlie Austin. Credit where credit is due, it looks a lot like the club are taking things a bit more seriously this season. Plus we’ve held on to Krul, Sissoko etc., so far. Reasons to be cheerful?

  • Duke Fame

    Durham_CK Saylor is up to the job as long as he’s fit, Lacelles needs to come on and McClaren is clearly making him comfortable in the first team, then we have Dummett who is good at centre half but not commanding and seems to do well alongside Collo. Before Good’s latest setback, I’d have also wanted to see him get chances this season. The upshot of that is No, I don’t think we need two new centre halfs.

  • BONESNUFC

    TimBoddy Is it worth holding on to players who dont want to be here or holding on to players who just are not good enough i really feel like we should of signed some players when the transfer window first opened ready for the pre season friendly’s we need at least another 3 signings after this one im sorry but i really dont feel like any credit is due

  • Duke Fame

    BONESNUFC TimBoddy lordy, I was going to make the point that we need a 6ft defender not a 5 ft 11 & 2⁄3 defender in some ironic post that one of the doom-monger johnny come lately types may make but Tim’s point takes the biscuit.

  • v0ices

    Duke Fame Durham_CK we certainly do if this guy is seen as the solution, off to africa for the African cup of nations every 2 years not to mention hes only played in the bloody Belguim league its another lets cross our fingers and hope it works out. Premier league experience is whats needed someone who can come in and know what hes doing right away, I have no knowledge of this guy so I wont comment on his ability but few players can just jump right into the premier league and often defenders find it the hardest to adjust. If hes seen as the solution to our defence god help us.

  • Durham_CK

    Steven Taylor in my opinion is not up to the job. Lascelles is coming straight from the Championship and Good had not played any premier league football. He is of an age that if he was good enough he would have had some game time ( I appreciate he has been injured ) We need another centre half who is going to command the defence and lead from the back. Something that our defence has been missing for a while.

  • Duke Fame

    v0ices Duke Fame Durham_CK Ok “if hes seen as the solution to our defence god help us.” I’ll save that because you may well discover that God is a Geordie,.

  • v0ices

    Duke Fame v0ices Durham_CK we sold a better player than this guy to roma and now you expect him to work a miracle.

  • Jievo

    Things are beginning to look up, but on all these lads I’ll smile when I see them holding the shirt, not beforehand. Mbemba seems like the kind of lad we need, but I can’t be the only one who sees that we HAD an almost identical player and let Pardew throw him away. Maybe MYM wouldn’t have come good in the PL under any coach, but he deserved a better chance than he got. Anyway, onwards and upwards, hopefully Mbemba will sign and succeed where Mbiwa failed, a second centre half and/or striker would cheer me up no end, a winger would be nice and more promising youngsters (whether sent out on loan ala Darlow/Lascelles or kept ala Perez) would all be wonderful to see, but for me Mbemba, Mitrovich and Wijnaldum along with a new coaching setup should be enough to be going along with until January. I would have liked to see a more experienced leader to slot into the centre of defence, but guess that was too much to ask – Assuming we play Mbemba alongside one of Lascelles, Dummett or Taylor then I guess we’ll just need to hope Krul and Janmaat can marshal the defence.

    My new pet peeve – seeing fans who have bitched and moaned about the regime, the thinness of our squad and the management for years saying things like Williamson out, Saylor out, Obertan out, Cabella out, Coloccini out, before we’ve even signed a new centre back or winger. Williamson is not a great footballer, he’s not a player we want near the first team, but if and when injuries strike I’d rather turn to him than have to draft in some 16 year old. Likewise for Obertan, these guys have had and are capable of perfectly decent form, and right now they’re the cover we’ve got. We can all hope we sign better players for cover but the truth is that with the clubs current situation we aren’t going to be able to sign and keep top players to sit on the bench, the lads that do sign for us are signing to put themselves on display to the top clubs. This season, one or two departures (I’d choose Coloccini and Riviere to get rid of) and 3 or 4 signings on the Wijnaldum/Mitrovich scale would be enough to give the coaches a decent team to work with. Evolution, not revolution.

  • Jievo

    PhilHill2 We’ve had height in the box for years, look where that’s got us.

  • Jievo

    Durham_CK I get the premier league experience argument but I don’t buy it – even if we could afford the outrageous fees  clubs are going to want to sell their defenders to a league rival, how many proven premier league players would see newcastle as a step up right now? I’d like to see the likes of Tomkins sign but if they do, it’ll be because they’ve been pushed out of the first team elsewhere – we can’t be building a team of other people’s left overs. A lad like that could be useful for a season or two to help develop the likes of Mbemba and Lascelles into premier league players but at the end of the day you need to blood players sooner or later, and you never know, Mbemba might be another Mbiwa, but he could be another Cabaye or Tiote who we won’t be able to imagine life without. And as for the Championship argument, I’m sure Charlie Austin is gagging to get back to the comforts of the championship where he belongs.

  • v0ices

    Jievo Durham_CK We can all make  comments about the championship but its the 7th richest league in the world with a lot of good players playing in it there are worse places to go shopping.

  • BONESNUFC

    Jievo Durham_CK how can you say charlie austin belongs in the championship when he proved  his capability in the premiership and lets face it hes better than cisse and mitrovic

  • Jievo

    BONESNUFC Jievo Durham_CK Yeah, exactly. I was disagreeing with the idea that a player is “not good enough” because they’re only proven in the championship. Players and teams can and do step up from championship to EPL and do brilliantly.