Newcastle United fans have taken to Twitter to express their outrage at reports suggesting that the club have offered their defender Chancel Mbemba to their relegation rivals West Ham. While the Congolese international is far from a star player at the club, any move that would strengthen the Hammers could be seen as a real conflict of interests for the Magpies.
Both sides are level on points in a tightly packed bottom half of the table. With both sides sitting on 22 points, they are just two points away from slipping into the dreaded relegation zone. Toon boss Rafael Benítez has been open in his dissatisfaction regarding his transfer budget, and could sell Mbemba in order to raise much-needed funds to strengthen his squad in January.
With the likes of Sky Sports breaking the news of a potential deal on Twitter, Magpies fans reacted in horror at the suggestion their club could strengthen the Hammers' squad:
One of our most talented players, no idea why he doesn't get much game time. Such a backwards transfer for us and a real good gain for you— Am Jack, mate (@JackNUFC_99) January 12, 2018
what a joke.— A (@Andynufc420) January 12, 2018
Why strengthen a relegation rival and get nothing back?— Kieran 🐢 (@Kieranthompson0) January 12, 2018
Mbemba is a quality cb can play anywhere in defence and also as a holding mid Newcastle are stupid not giving him a chance— DylanMcNicholas (@dylanmcnicholas) January 12, 2018
Selling Mbemba to West Ham is absolutely ridiculous— Chris (@_ck248_) January 12, 2018
The 23-year-old has been with the club since 2015, when he joined the club from Belgian side Anderlecht. His first season with the Magpies saw the club relegated to the Championship, but he remained with the side and played a role in their fight to bounce back to the top-flight at the first time of asking.
First team opportunities have been limited for the robust defender so far this season, seeing him make just seven starts so far in the 2017/18 campaign. West Ham are desperate to shore up their leaky defence, as they have conceded forty goals in 22 matches thus far. Mbemba would certainly offer David Moyes' side power, but questions remain over his consistency.
In other transfer news, Benítez is reportedly lining up a move for Young Boys 17-year-old prodigy Yannick Toure - who is hotly tipped as a real star for the future. The Swiss Under-17 international would represent a real gamble for the Tyneside club, but could prove a stroke of genius if he develops from a bright spark into a top-class forward.