Newcastle have announced their third signing of the summer subject to a work permit being approved in the form of Anderlecht defender Chancel Mbemba, but reports suggest that the Congolese international could be anywhere between 20 to 27 years old.
Having completed the £12.5m signing of Mbemba’s former Anderlecht team-mate Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Magpies are ready to swoop for another star of the Belgian Jupiler League.
It’s believed that the Tyneside club rate £8.5m-rated Mbemba as one of the best defenders currently playing in Belgium, having developed during his time with E.S La Grace, Mputu and MK Etancheite before joining Anderlecht in 2012.
During the qualification stage for the 2012 African Cup of Nations, Mbemba was registered by his nation as being born on 30 November 1991, and the player himself has confirmed in an interview that he was born around 1990 which would make him 25.
However, the club are believed to be relaxed over the situation and it will not lead to the deal collapsing, meaning the club are on course to land their third signing this summer after the completed deals of Mitrovic and Netherlands international Georginio Wijnaldum.
The work permit appeal will be heard by the Football Association on Thursday.