Newcastle United could be set for a busy few days in the transfer market, with the potential departure of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa freeing up space in the squad and additional funds to help the club land Micah Richards.
The 25-year-old France international has been linked with a move to Olympique Marseille, amid reports indicating that the Ligue 1 giants have offered to take the player on a season-long loan deal with a view to signing him permanently at the conclusion of the campaign.
Capped three times by Les Bleus, Yanga-Mbiwa previously impressed in France with Montpellier, playing 186 times in the league during a six year stay at the club in which he helped the team beat Paris Saint-Germain to the title in 2012.
However, since moving to Newcastle for £8.5m back in January 2013, the defender has struggled for form and has been linked with a move away from the club for much of the summer.
Yet to make a first-team appearance for the Toon this term, a return to France with Marseille could be the ideal solution, while also freeing up funds and space in the squad for Richards.
Yanga-Mbiwa is thought to be one of the highest earners at St James’ Park and his departure could allow the club to better budget for the arrival of the Manchester City man.
Richards has made no secret of his desire to leave the Etihad, after enduring limited game-time since the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini as manager.
The Chilean appears resigned to letting him go too, after the 26-year-old turned down a new contract at the Eastlands club.
Previously linked with summer moves to the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, neither side has so far been forthcoming with a bid for the player, while City may also be against the idea of selling a player to a so-called top four rival.
Those developments could therefore allow Newcastle to slip in with a bid for the defender who could be tempted to move to the north-east given the large fan support and European aspirations that surround the club.
Talk of a bid for Richards comes amid rumours that Newcastle are keen to recruit another striker and may even be weighing up an improved bid for Queens Park Rangers forward Loic Remy.
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