PARIS, Jan 22 (Reuters) - France and Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga Mbiwa is set to be the latest recruit from Ligue 1 to join Newcastle United.
French champions Montpellier said on their website (www.mhsc-foot.com) on Tuesday that Yanga Mbiwa's transfer to the Premier League side was pending the completion of a medical.
Yanga Mbiwa, 23, has won three caps with France and is regarded as one of the top centre backs in the country.
Newcastle, fifth in England last season, are 16th this term and only two points above the relegation places.
The north east side have already drafted in Lille and France right back Mathieu Debuchy during January and Nancy full back Massadio Haidara is also poised to join the club's French contingent, which includes midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
Newcastle have been hit by a number of injuries to their backline this season and the new arrivals will also help cover for the expected exit of captain Fabricio Coloccini amid reports the centre half wants to return home to Argentina. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Meadows)