Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has launched a scathing attack on defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa for joining Newcastle United, calling the 23-year-old "an ass", ahead of his imminent move to the Magpies.
Mbiwa played a crucial part in the Ligue 1 club's title winning campaign last year and has been linked with both Arsenal and Newcastle in the January transfer window. Alan Pardew's side were first to react and are understood to have agreed a fee for the French international, with the move set to be completed later on the day
"If he's an ass, it's not my fault, but I think his manager has a lot to do with it. Newcastle really isn't a good choice. He'll get himself moved on next year, but it doesn't bother me. He agreed with my son [Laurent, Montpellier's delegated president] that he could leave if he found a club he liked. We're not going to cry. His head was no longer at Montpellier, but it's not a problem. He's not irreplaceable. The important thing is that we get some money in," Nicollin told L'Equipe.
In the meantime, the Telegraph reports that the defender has failed to report for a medical that was scheduled to happen at St James' Park on Monday, citing weather conditions. The Frenchman is due to arrive on Tueday, but given that Newcastle have already lost striker Loic Remy to QPR after agreeing a fee with Marseille, it could be a nervous wait for the club's supporters.
Arsenal were linked with hijacking the move, after previously completing a deal for Montpellier forward Olivier Giroud in the summer. And if the Gunners do put in a late bid for the player, it may be another heartbreak for Newcastle, who are in desperate need for some reinforcements, having already lost striker Demba Ba to Chelsea and having issues with captain Fabricio Collocini. The Tyneside outfit are currently 16th in the league with 21 points, just two off the relegation zone.