Pardew to strengthen French connection
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is set to end his frustration in the transfer market with the capture of defenders Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Massadio Haidara from French clubs Montpellier and Nancy respectively.
Montpellier reported on their website that Yanga-Mbiwa is currently on Tyneside to undergo a medical with a view to completing a deal worth in the region of £7million, while a statement from Nancy has revealed they have agreed a fee for Haidara's switch to the Magpies.
The deals end a series of near-misses for under-pressure Pardew, with long-time target Loic Remy resisting a move last week and choosing instead to commit to QPR.
Yanga-Mbiwa told Montpellier's official website: "This (England) is a country where everybody loves football and I really want to experience this culture. It is one of the things you want to discover as a player.
"I feel I have given everything to the maximum while at Montpellier. They have been like my second family and have given me everything. There were hard times and good times but there is a very strong bond that unites us."
Meanwhile 20-year-old full-back Haidara is poised to follow Yanga-Mbiwa to the Magpies after confirmation from Nancy that an agreement had been reached for his sale.
A statement on Nancy's official website said: "After 46 games and two-and-a-half years in the Nancy shirt, Massadio Haidara is leaving for Newcastle United, currently 16th in the Premier League. The two clubs have reached an agreement and will finalise the transfer on Tuesday."
Another reported Newcastle target, Moussa Sissoko, has been left out of the Toulouse squad for Wednesday night's French Cup clash with Paris St Germain for an unspecified reason, amid reports in France that he is also discussing a move to the north-east.