Newcastle United have reportedly approached Manchester City over the availability of Eliaquim Mangala as manager Rafa Benitez desperately seeks new signings before the close of the transfer window on Wednesday (31 January).
Mangala is currently City's fourth-choice centre-back and will be pushed even further down the pecking order by his compatriot Aymeric Laporte, who is poised to complete his £57m move to The Etihad Stadium from Athletic Bilbao.
Newcastle boss Benitez has been intent on improving his squad throughout the January window but the Magpies have only been able to clinch the signing of Chelsea's Kenedy so far, with deals for Nicolai Jorgensen and Daniel Sturridge failing to materialise much to the Spaniard's frustration.
A new centre-forward seems to be of the utmost importance for Newcastle, but according to the Daily Mail they are also hoping to bolster their backline with the proposed arrival of City's Mangala, who spent last season on loan at Valencia.
The Frenchman is already behind John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi in Pep Guardiola's thinking, and the arrival of Laporte will further decrease the former Porto star's opportunities for regular game-time between now and the end of the season. Mangala is currently earning £80,000-a-week at City and the Premier League leaders would want Newcastle to subsidise most of the 26-year-old's wages before agreeing to loan him to St James' Park.
Newcastle were hoping to pilfer Sturridge on loan from Liverpool but were angered to learn that the former Chelsea forward had chosen to move to West Bromwich Albion. The failure to capture Sturridge leaves the Geordies with one space for a Premier League loan, which they are hoping to fill with Mangala.
Along with the arrival of Laporte and the proposed exit of Mangala, who has made 15 appearances for the Citizens this season, City are also looking to tie up a deal for Philippe Sandler, a young centre-back from Dutch side PEC Zwolle. The powers that be in Manchester have agreed a £2.6m fee for the Netherlands youth international, who will be loaned back to the Eredivisie outfit for the rest of the season.