A report claims Everton are hoping to sign Chancel Mbemba, who is due to leave Porto as a free agent on July 1.
The centre-back got his first taste of European football in July 2011 by joining Anderlecht U21s. He went on to play 77 times for the senior team, scoring nine goals, before earning a transfer to Newcastle in summer 2015.
Mbemba cost the Magpies £8million, as per The Guardian. He made 33 Premier League appearances during his debut season at St James’ Park. However, it would end in disappointment as Newcastle were relegated to the Championship.
The DR Congo international lost his first-team spot the next season and would never really get back in the fold. As a result, he was sold to Porto in July 2018. Newcastle took a financial hit as the Portuguese side paid £4.2m for him, little more than half of Newcastle’s original fee.
After a slow start, Mbemba has made it a successful spell in Portugal. He has played over 40 matches in each of the last three campaigns. Porto have won two Primeira Liga titles, two Portuguese cups and one Portuguese super cup while he has been on their books.
Mbemba, now 27, will leave the Estadio do Dragao this summer as his contract is due to expire. And a return to England is on the cards.
Frank Lampard’s side are recent competitors for Mbemba’s signature. Fiorentina and Trabzonspor are both keeping tabs on his situation too.
Plenty of teams want Chancel Mbemba
The report states Lyon, Marseille, AC Milan and Real Betis have previously been linked with him. But it doesn’t state if they are still in the running.
Mbemba is waiting for contract offers to come in before deciding on his ‘next step’. There is one factor which could see him end up at Goodison Park.
Despite his time at Newcastle being underwhelming, he is keen to go back to the Premier League. Presumably, this would be to prove some of his doubters wrong.
This transfer stance could put Everton in pole position to complete a deal. The fact Mbemba is a free agent is good news for Everton’s finances too, as they have come under scrutiny in recent months.
Mbemba is unlikely to come straight into Lampard’s starting eleven. After all, the manager can utilise Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate at centre-half. But with Mina regularly injured, Mbemba may be needed as a backup option.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have reportedly struck a bargain deal to sign Richarlison from Everton.