Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Yanga-Mbiwa's Future under Threat; Pardew's Uncertain about His Defender

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Yanga-Mbiwa's Future under Threat; Pardew's Uncertain about His Defender

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK DOUGLAS

MAPOU Yanga-Mbiwa's Newcastle United future is under serious threat, with Alan Pardew harbouring reservations about the France defender's suitability for the Premier League, writes MARK DOUGLAS.

The 24-year-old was hauled off at half-time on Saturday after struggling terrible in an unfamiliar rightback slot against Southampton, and is seemingly running out of chances with the Newcastle manager.

Pardew - who believes that Mike Williamson has performed well enough to be considered a firstchoice centre-back next season - is also understood to have doubts about the defender's aerial ability.

Yanga-Mbiwa has not been able to nail down a regular starting slot under Pardew since he came to club from Montpellier, whose club president Louis Nicollin said the move had been unsuccessful.

Yanga-Mbiwa was linked with Lille last week and it is understood that there have been soundings to French clubs from parties close to the defender.

Whether these have come because the player wants to play regularly in his centre-back slot is unclear, but the January 2013 capture is one of the stars under threat in the possible summer overhaul. United are intending to bring in up to seven new players in the summer but there is likely to be a number of high-profile departures too, with Yanga-Mbiwa and Steven Taylor both under threat.

Nicollin hinted earlier this month that Yanga-Mbiwa was wrong to choose Newcastle, when discussing the future of United target Remy Cabella. "For my dear Yanga-Mbiwa, Newcastle was not Eldorado," he said.

United still hold out hope of bidding for Cabella, however, who is understood to be one of a number of French players in the sights of Newcastle in the close season.

Indeed there have been a series of "positive" meetings about Newcastle's transfer targets - including one as recently as last week - in the summer which partly explains Pardew's bullishness despite United's form collapsing of late. …

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