sport

Newcastle capture Yanga-Mbiwa

Newcastle have completed the signing of central defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from Montpellier on a five-and-a-half-year contract.

The 23-year-old France international has put pen to paper after passing a medical on Tyneside and agreeing personal terms.

Yanga-Mbiwa, who will reportedly cost Newcastle around 7million, told the club's official website: "It is an honour to be able to come to Newcastle United and have the chance to play in the Premier League.

"Newcastle are one of the biggest clubs in the league, and I'm going to try and give everything I have so that the team can do well.

"I have experienced a lot of positive things so far in my career and one of those is joining this club."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew added: "We needed to strengthen the team and bringing in Mapou will give the whole squad a boost. He is precisely the sort of player we've been looking to bring to the club.

"He is a good age for us but has plenty of experience at club and international level.

"Mapou is a talented footballer, good in the air and on the ground and has all the attributes to succeed as a quality defender in the Premier League.

"He's a good character too and that will be important for us over the next few months."

Yanga-Mbiwa, who will wear the No 13 shirt, is the first of what is likely to be a quarter of arrivals at Newcastle this week from French clubs, as Nancy full-back Massaido Haidara and Bordeaux striker Yoan Gouffran are close to signing.

Hopes are also high that Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko can be persuaded to move to St James' Park.

The 22-year-old was left out of the squad for Toulouse's scheduled Coupe de France clash with Paris St Germain on Wednesday night.