Any hopes or plans Newcastle United might have had towards capturing Chancel Mbemba Mangulu, now seem to have evaporated completely. Reports from Spanish outlet AS, suggest the powerful young defender is edging ever closer to Atletico Madrid, whilst Valencia are also hovering with intent.
However, AS noted the omission of Mangulu from a friendly between Anderlecht and Seraing United on Saturday, as an important indication the player is about to complete a switch to La Liga.
Furthermore, they cited coaching staff of Anderlecht explaining Mangulu didn't feature, because they were "under orders from the club" as they "do not want to harm any operation" involving the player.
Meanwhile, Valencia have also been monitoring the situation of Mangulu, according to Super Deporte, who highlight the important influence of Portuguese super-agent, Jorge Mendes, as potentially being a key factor in their favour.
Mendes is proving himself to be a highly influential figure at Valencia, providing insight and signing recommendations to their wealthy owner, Singapore billionaire Peter Lim. Needless to say, many transfer proposals appear to involve players he represents.
Likewise though, Mendes has also has also been involved in numerous transfers involving Atletico, who are looking to move swiftly after the departure of Miranda to Inter Milan, plus the pending sale of Alderweireld to Tottenham.
The latter could be delayed by a legal challenge from Southampton, according to The Guardian, which could disrupt the plans of Atletico, who tend to have a 'one in one out' policy regarding sales and purchases, having expected to conclude business swiftly with Spurs, for the Belgian.
For the moment, it is believed Atletico Madrid are the primary destination for Mangulu, with Anderlecht general manager Herman van Holsbeek already having visited the Spanish capital, reportedly negotiating a €10 million fee for the player.
Mangulu is reportedly to have a medical with Atletico on Monday, although if there are any delays beyond that, Mendes could well steer his client towards Valencia instead.