McClaren hopeful Newcastle will complete Chancel Mbemba deal today

Steve McClaren

Steve McClaren is hoping for good news in Newcastle's pursuit of Chancel Mbemba.

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren has told The Chronicle that Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba could complete his move to Tyneside today.

The Magpies slipped to a 2-1 defeat to League Two side York City on Wednesday evening, but the attention has already turned to squad additions.

Just over a week ago, Newcastle confirmed on their official website that they had reached an agreement to sign Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba, having recently landed another Anderlecht star in Aleksandar Mitrovic.

However, Newcastle need a work permit for the DR Congo international, and the hearing to determine whether Mbemba will be given permission to play in England is set for today.

Speaking after the defeat at Bootham Crescent, McClaren admitted to The Chronicle that he is expecting positive news in his pursuit of the 20-year-old centre back today.

"I hope so," said McClaren when asked whether Mbemba's deal could be completed today. "I think it’s going to be positive. We hope to confirm that soon," he added.

Last season, Newcastle saw veteran centre back pairing Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson struggle, with a younger, more athletic defender needed to help solve Newcastle's problems at the back.

Mbemba certainly fits that bill, possessing pace and enough strength to compete despite standing at less than 6ft tall. Having impressed in Belgium, Newcastle are ready to bank on Mbemba developing into a Premier League star - and he has the athletic traits to do just that, if he gets his work permit approved today.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch