Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa joins Newcastle's French revolution; Gouffran, Haidara in line

Updated: 23 January 2013 09:55 IST

Arsenal and AC Milan were also reportedly interested in the centre-back, who made over 200 appearances in six years for Montpellier and broke into the France team last season.

Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa joins Newcastle's French revolution; Gouffran, Haidara in line
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London:

Newcastle United on Tuesday confirmed that France defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has joined the club from Montpellier.

The 23-year-old is the second France international to join Newcastle this month after Mathieu Debuchy, while Bordeaux striker Yoan Gouffran and Nancy's Massadio Haidara are poised to swell the club's French contingent even further.

Yanga-Mbiwa was a key member of Montpellier's Ligue 1 title success last season and joins Newcastle on a five-and-a-half-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

"It is an honour to be able to come to Newcastle United and have the chance to play in the Premier League," he told the club's official website.

Montpellier had earlier disclosed that Yanga-Mbiwa had reached an agreement to join Newcastle, who currently sit just two points above the Premier League relegation places.

Yanga-Mbiwa extended his Montpellier contract by two years to 2015 in the close season, but on the understanding that the club would not stand in his way if an acceptable offer was made for his services.

Arsenal and AC Milan were also reportedly interested in the centre-back, who made over 200 appearances in six years for Montpellier and broke into the France team last season.

"Newcastle are one of the biggest clubs in the league, and I'm going to try and give everything I have so that the team can do well," he added.

"I have experienced a lot of positive things so far in my career and one of those is joining this club."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hopes Yanga-Mbiwa will help to shore up a defence that has conceded goals at a rate of 1.78 per game in the league this season.

"We needed to strengthen the team and bringing in Mapou will give the whole squad a boost," said Pardew.

"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.

"Mapou is a talented footballer, good in the air and on the ground and has all the attributes to succeed as a quality defender in the Premier League."

Meanwhile, Gouffran announced on Twitter that he is to become the latest French player to join the St James' Park club.

"Tomorrow I will be a Newcastle player and I am proud, thank you everyone," Gouffran tweeted on Tuesday evening.

He added: "I needed a new challenge so I hope you will respect my choice."

Gouffran, 26, joined Bordeaux from Caen in 2008 and was part of the side that won the Ligue 1 title the following spring.

He scored 14 goals last season and has added a further eight in this campaign, but his contract was due to expire in the summer.

Yanga-Mbiwa's transfer and Gouffran's announcement came at the end of a day that started with news that Newcastle had agreed a deal with Nancy for 20-year-old full-back Haidara.

Ligue 1 side Nancy said an agreement had been reached on a four million euros (£3.4 million, $5.3 million) deal for a player who has made 46 appearances for Nancy since a December 2010 debut against Sochaux.

The club added that Haidara was heading to Newcastle for a medical.

Media in Newcastle also reported that the club are bidding to add Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko to their squad as they try to haul themselves away from the relegation zone.

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