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Newcastle edge ahead of Arsenal in pursuit of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa

Magpies appear to have held off late interest from Arsenal in the Montpellier central defender

Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is having a medical at Newcastle according to reports.

The centre-back has been linked with a £6.7m switch to St James' Park throughout the transfer window, however it emerged that Arsenal had begun to show interest in the player.

The reports that Yanga-Mbiwa is having a medical in the north east suggests Newcastle have won the race to sign the France international.

The 23-year-old will become just the latest in a string of Frenchmen to sign for Newcastle following the deal for Mathieu Debuchy completed earlier this month and the impending switch of Nancy's Massadio Haidara.

The arrival of Yanga-Mbiwa could see Newcastle relax their stance over the future of Fabricio Coloccini. The club captain has asked to leave this month and club and player have been locked in talks to find a solution, so far unsuccessfully.

Newcastle's most pressing need remains in attack following the sale of Demba Ba to Chelsea earlier this month.