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Celtic target Newcastle defender Chancel Mbemba

Newcastle United defender Chancel Mbemba

Bengaluru, January 10: Scottish giants Celtic and Belgian powerhouse Anderlecht are set to battle it out for Newcastle centre-back Chancel Mbemba.

The DR Congo captain helped Rafa Benitez' side make an instant Premier League return following relegation in 2016. However the 23-year-old has made just 10 appearances this term after falling out of favour at St James' Park.

Mbemba remains under contract with the Magpies until 2020, but him time on Tyneside could end this month prematurely and Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers is understood to be weighing up a move for him.

The former Liverpool manager hopes to reinforce the Premiership champions' squad as they chase a domestic Treble as well as Europa League success.

Reports in the Congo and Belgium claim 41-cap Mbemba is also a target for his former side Anderlecht.

The Jupiler League champions sold him to Newcastle for £8million in 2015.

They are currently 13 points adrift of leaders and arch-rivals Club Brugge in the Belgian top-flight.

However, Anderlecht are planning a mid-season spending spree following the arrival of wealthy new owner Marc Coucke.

Mbemba won the league and Super Cup with them in 2014.

Born in Kinshasa, he played for Congolese sides ES La Grace, Mputu and MK Etancheite before joining Anderlecht in 2012.

Mbemba was last in action for Newcastle during the 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City last month.

Newcastle United have not had the best time since their return to th Premier League and Rafael Benitez has a major job in his hands to save his side from the clutches of relegation.

The Spanish manager also has very little fund to revamp his side nd is looking to cash in a few of his players in order to raise the money he needs.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 11:22 [IST]
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