MAPOU Yanga-Mbiwa last night stated his intention to win trophies with Newcastle United – and refused to even contemplate being involved in a relegation fight this season.
This firm and positive message is what supporters wanted to hear from the £6.7m signing, who met his new team-mates yesterday for the first time.
While former Montpellier captain Yanga-Mbiwa introduced himself to the media, Bordeaux forward Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara, a full-back from Nancy, were undergoing their medicals. Gouffran signed late last night, Haidara should do likewise by the weekend.
A deal to sign midfielder Moussa Sissoko this month edged closer to being done as his club Toulouse fear losing him for nothing in the summer and have now suspended him from the first-team squad.
And on yet another frantic day at Newcastle United, news also emerged from Argentina that Fabricio Coloccini’s proposed move to San Lorenzo was off.
If the captain does stay, at least until the end of this season, he will partner a player in central defence that is hungry to add to the silverware he won when Montpellier were crowned champions of France last season.
Yanga-Mbiwa, 23, said: “In terms of my strengths on the pitch, I have a strong mentality, I never give up and always try to give my very best in every game.
“What do I want to achieve? I want to be a winner. I want to do my best for the team.
“I want us to be in a good position in the league and why not try to get some success in the cups, and reach the Champions League as well – and have some success in the Europa League.
“In my own mind, Newcastle United is a massive football club. I don’t have any ideas or thoughts about relegation going through my head. I believe that is not going to happen.
“I know where we are, I know our position in the league and it’s not where this club should be. So it is definitely a big challenge and we, myself and the whole team, must move as fast as we can out of the relegation zone.