By Will Butcher
Valencia have lined up Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba to replace Shkodran Mustafi, according to a report.
The Daily Star claim that the Spanish giants are prepared to spend £7million to sign Mbemba just a year after his move to Tyneside.
The 22-year-old centre-back joined the Magpies last summer from Belgian giants Anderlecht in an £8million deal, signing a five-year contract on Tyneside.
Valencia’s pursuit of Mbemba is a boost to Arsenal as they try and prise defender target Mustafi from the La Liga club.
Sky Sports claimed on their transfer centre blog on Sunday night (7.59pm) that Arsenal are working on a deal for Mustafi, who is keen to join the Gunners as they seek defensive cover following a spate of injuries at the back.
Mbemba remained an unused substitute, as the Toon giants began their Championship season with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Newcastle’s number 18 made 35 appearances for the Magpies last-term in both league and cup encounters, but couldn’t help his new side avoid relegation.
He looks to have fallen down the pecking order at St. James’ Park after Rafa Benitez named Jamaal Lascelles captain and signed Ciaran Clark and Grant Hanley.
The DR Congo international, who was born in Zaire, was a key part of the 2015 side that took third-place in the African Cup of Nations and has 25 caps to his name.
In other Newcastle transfer news, this London based side are looking to replace their star-man with a huge offer for the Magpies’ Euro 2016 star.