NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Premier League struggler Newcastle has bolstered its defensive options by completing a deal for French international defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa on Tuesday, with the prospect of making further signings from France in the days ahead.
Newcastle announced that the 23-year-old Yanga-Mbiwa had signed a five and a half year contract with the northeast club after joining for an undisclosed fee from Montpellier. "It is an honor to be able to come to Newcastle United and have the chance to play in the Premier League," Yanga-Mbiwa said.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was delighted with the move, saying "he is precisely the sort of player we've been looking to bring to the club. He is a good age for us but has plenty of experience at club and international level."
However, Yanga-Mbiwa is not expected to be the only arrival from Ligue 1 before the end of the January transfer window. Nancy said Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Newcastle to sell 20-year-old defender Massadio Haidara.
Pardew has also been linked with a move for another French player, Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko. Referring to the impending arrivals, Newcastle forward Sammy Ameobi, who is English, quipped on Twitter: "Need to brush up on my French."
Newcastle is two points and two places above the relegation zone after finishing fifth last season.