Report: Tottenham and Newcastle-linked star Chancel Mbemba skips friendly as Spain switch nears

RSC Anderlecht Flag Stadium Fans

Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with Anderlecht’s Chancel Mbemba.

According to a report from Spanish paper AS, Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba missed a friendly match in order to prevent injury ahead of a potential move to Atletico Madrid.

The 20-year-old centre-back has dominated the headlines in Belgium in recent weeks amid speculation over his future and a potential switch to the Premier League.

A report by Nieuwsblad.be credited Tottenham Hotspur with an interest, whilst HLN claimed Newcastle United and Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach as fellow suitors.

The trio, however, look like missing out on the Congolese international as La Liga giants Atletico Madrid work themselves into position of all-but sealing a deal, Spanish paper AS says.

The Anderlecht coaching staff were under orders from the club not to include Mbemba for a friendly match on Sunday, while the player who was seen in the stands was expected to fly to Madrid shortly after.

A blow for Newcastle United?

Whereas Spurs are pretty loaded in the centre-back positions having already signed Kevin Wimmer this summer, Newcastle are short in defence and can’t afford to miss out on their top targets.

So far this summer, newly-appointed boss Steve McClaren has been left frustrated by the Magpies’ inactivity and the club are in danger of entering their pre-season campaign with a depleted squad.

Mbemba would have been an ideal signing. He’s young, determined, solid on the ball and dominant in the air, attributes which sadly can’t be said of Newcastle’s current centre-backs.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch