Why Newcastle striker bid may make move for ‘new Tiote’ unlikely

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The Premier League club’s reported interest in Aleksandar Mitrovic could make a move for Senegal midfielder Kara Mbodji difficult, given the pair’s history.

Newcastle United could be faced with something of a transfer dilemma this summer, if the club pursues two reported targets with bad blood between them.

The Chronicle has reported that the club are considering a move to bring Anderlecht’s £15m-rated striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to the club.

Capped 10 times by Serbia at international level, the 20-year-old forward has scored 36 goals over two seasons for the Brussels outfit, with that tally including a late equaliser in a 3-3 draw with Arsenal in the Champions League earlier this term.

A capable goal-poacher who has garnered plenty of praise since claiming the Golden Player award for his national side at the 2013 UEFA under-19 championships, the potential purchase of the forward could pose something of a problem if Newcastle continue to pursue Kara Mbodji.

Like Mitrovic, Mbodji plies his trade in Belgium with Genk, where his all-action performances both in midfield and defence have seen the Senegalese 25-year-old compared to Magpies star Cheick Tiote.

With Tiote rumoured to be on his way out of St James’ Park, Mbodji has emerged as one possible candidate to replace the former Twente midfielder, with The Daily Mail reporting as much earlier this month.

But any bid for Mbodji could throw a spanner into the works when it comes to agreeing a deal for Mitrovic, with the pair sharing something of a checkered past.

It all relates to an incident that occurred during a Belgian Pro League clash between Anderlecht and Genk that saw the pair collide in rather unsavoury circumstances.

Played back in March 2014, the encounter was a heated one with no love lost between the two rival clubs.

With Anderlecht leading 1-0 through a second-half goal from Mitrovic, Mbodji appeared to stamp on the Serbian after he challenged for the ball midway into the Genk half of the field.

Though there was a suggestion that Mitrovic had initially flicked his leg out at the Senegalese midfielder and subsequently made the most of the illegal challenge, a red card was probably justified.

But with Anderlecht going on to win 2-0 in a pivotal league game, there is a chance that bad blood may still linger between the pair with Mbodji appearing none-too-happy with Mitrovic’s reaction at the time.

Signing both players could, therefore, pose something of a quandary.

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