Chancel Mbemba has no future at Newcastle United under Rafa Benitez, that is something we can all agree on.
The Newcastle manager reportedly unhappy due to issues including failing to follow instructions on the pitch, as well as communication issues due to a poor command of English despite having been at St James Park for three years now.
In the past 20 months the DR Congo international has only started 12 league matches and hasn’t even made the bench in PL games since December.
Yesterday brought reports of a cheeky bid by Trabzonspor, who are said to want Chancel Mbemba on loan next season BUT can’t afford to pay a loan fee and want the player to take a drop in wages (see below).
Rafa Benitez needs to move unwanted players out permanently to generate transfer cash and lower the wage bill commitment so a loan deal is the last thing he wants to do, plus if it was a simple loan deal for a year then Mbemba would have next to no transfer value next summer with only a year then left on his Newcastle contract.
The claimed interest from the Turkish club has come along with what looked a certain move to Porto stalling.
The Portuguese champions agreed personal terms with Chancel Mbemba a couple of weeks ago and agreement between the two clubs looked a formality.
However, two weeks later and the Chronicle have revealed that the transfer is being held up due to a difference in price.
Porto having offered £6m but Mike Ashley insisting that the full £8m, which Newcastle paid to Anderlecht three years ago, is recouped.
With other deals for unwanted players, such as Matz Sels, also failing to get over the line, it is starting to look like a classic case of false economy.
Whether for pride or whatever, Mike Ashley insisting on unrealistic transfer fees for unwanted players will surely only lead to more money being wasted. In these past 20 months when Mbemba has clearly been surplus to requirements, he alone must have received £3m-£4m in wages.
As for Matz Sels, he should have been playing for Anderlecht in their first pre-season friendly last night (they start their season weeks earlier than the Premier League) but his move was reported in Belgium to have failed because Mike Ashley was insisting on £500,000 more than Anderlecht were willing to pay.
The Mag – 22 June 2018:
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.