Newcastle United defender agrees to move back to Ligue 1

Mapou Yanga-M'Biwa has reportedly agreed to move to Marseille, but the clubs have yet to reach an agreement on a loan or permanent move.

Reports today in France are suggesting that Newcastle United defender Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa has agreed to join French side Olympique de Marseille before Monday’s transfer deadline. There is not agreement yet between the two clubs, but it is understood that both sides would be willing to do a deal before midnight on Monday.

Marseille are desperate for defenders. New Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa has taken control of the club and wants to play his own style of football, using a three-man central defence. At the club right now there is only Nicolas N’Koulou that could be classed as a first-team centre-back.

During the first three games of the Ligue 1 season, Bielsa has used a combination of youth players, left-backs and defensive midfielders as he tries to shape the team in the formation that he feels will be successful.

Marseille would prefer to bring Yanga-M’Biwa in an on an initial loan deal with the option to buy, mostly in order to get the deal done quickly as their need for defensive reinforcements are becoming a huge concern this season.

Newcastle would be willing to let the defender leave, but they would prefer to sell him outright, allowing them to bring in a replacement before the window closes.

Alan Pardew considers his two starting centre-backs to be Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson, with Yanga-M’Biwa fighting with Steven Taylor to become the first back-up. The Frenchman is said to be happy to stay if he is able to play first-team football, but it looks like that is unlikely, at least at this stage of the season.

It would be the ideal signing for Marseille as the player knows the league well from his time at Montpellier, winning the title at Marseille’s neighbours back in 2012 before making the move to England’s north-east.

His time at Newcastle hasn’t been ideal, but he does have the quality to fight for a starting spot. There is the option that Newcastle uses a loan-deal at Marseille to either get Yanga-M’Biwa more time on the pitch before bringing him into a starting-role, or to increase his profile before selling on.

Newcastle would not want to wait until the last minute to have to look for a replacement, so all parties would have to move quickly. With the player already interested in a move back to France, it could be one move that gets over the line before the deadline.

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