Chancel Mbemba is clearly a player that Rafa Benitez is desperate to get rid of.
The defender has started only 12 league games these past 20 months and didn’t even make the bench in any Premier League match since December.
A move back to Anderlecht looked on, only for transfer fee and wages to prove beyond them.
Then 10 days ago a move to Porto was said to be imminent (see below), only for no progress to be reported since.
Now on Friday morning, another club are reported to have come in with an offer for the player, though not one that Newcastle will/would find very enticing.
Either the club (Trabzonspor) or the newspaper (Taka) are surely having a laugh.
The Turkish newspaper reports that the club want Chancel Mbemba but can’t afford to buy him.
Plus, with their finances so low (no Champions League or even Europa League), they want to take the 23 year old on a season long loan but without paying a fee to Newcastle, which NUFC are allegedly willing to do – according to the newspaper.
Also, Taka claims that with Newcastle insisting they won’t subsidise the DR Congo international’s wages, for the deal to happen Trabzonspor want Chancel Mbemba to accept lower wages than he is on at St James Park.
The whole thing sounds a little crazy, and whilst I find it difficult to understand those who think Newcastle should be able to get back the £8m-£10m they paid for Mbemba three years ago, it is equally bizarre to think they will allow him to go out on loan without receiving any cash for the defender,
If he went out on loan for a full season, Chancel Mbemba would come back to St James Park next summer and be virtually worthless, as with only a season left on his contract Newcastle would struggle to get any kind of fee to get him off the wage bill.
It is surely this summer or nothing if they are to move him on and once again shows what a failure Mike Ashley’s policy was, in buying so many young unproven players from weak leagues and putting them on far too long contracts, only to then find it all but impossible to then move them on when they prove not good enough.
With Gamez and Haidara now heading off as their contracts end, we wait to see whether Sels, Mbemba, Saivet, Lazaar and others can also be persuaded to accept lower wages elsewhere. Alternatively, Mike Ashley will have to shift his position and be prepared to accept bigger losses on players to ensure they are removed from the wage bill.
The Mag – 12 June 2018:
News from Belgium that Anderlecht have failed in a move to bring back Chancel Mbemba.
The central defender was a hit with the Belgian club’s fans and would have been a popular move if they had pulled it off.
However, wages were always going to be a massive problem for a player who cost Newcastle up to £10m when signed three years ago.
Anderlecht were trying to do a double deal with Matz Sels after he had a decent season on loan and now hopefully that goalkeeping deal will go through, with Mbemba now said to be going elsewhere.
The usually reliable Belgian newspaper HLN says that a move for the DR Congo international proved ‘impossible’, no doubt due to the player’s wage demands.
However, they reveal that Chancel Mbemba is set to be fixed up elsewhere, with a move to Porto expected to be confirmed shortly.
They say that via a ‘reliable Portuguese source’, the move is expected to be finalised by Thursday at the latest.
Porto reached the final 16 of the Champions League last season and after winning the domestic league this past season, they are once again straight into the group stages, so Mbemba’s wages wouldn’t be a problem for them.
Newcastle fans will be hoping that once players such as Sels and Mbemba get moves elsewhere, with transfer fees generated and perhaps most importantly of all – their salaries cleared off the wage bill, it could help get things moving on bringing Rafa’s targets in.
Chancel Mbemba arrived three years ago along with Aleksandar Mitrovic from Anderlecht and despite relegation, he was popular with the fans and generally regarded as having been one of Newcastle’s better players, against not exactly stiff competition, starting 33 of the 38 PL games.
Rafa played him alongside Jamaal Lascelles in that late fight against relegation as Newcastle were unbeaten in their final six games and then that was the preferred partnership as NUFC settled into trying to get out of the Championship.
However, he and Lascelles had a nightmare in a home defeat to Wolves in September 2016, with the former Anderlecht player the one to make way for Ciaran Clark. The Irish international going on to be Newcastle’s player of the year.
In the last 20 months, Chancel Mbemba has subsequently made only 12 league starts under Rafa and those have almost all come about due to injuries, or the odd time the manager has gone with three/five at the back.