Montpellier have confirmed captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has left the club ahead of his transfer to Newcastle United.
The Ligue 1 champions revealed on their official website that the 23-year-old has travelled to England for a medical ahead of his move to Alan Pardew’s side.
Newcastle have yet to confirm the transfer themselves but the move is expected to be concluded within 24 hours.
Yanga-Mbiwa, who has three caps for France, had been linked with Arsenal and AC Milan during the off-season after impressing at the heart of his side’s defence in their surprise title victory last season.
After selling off star striker Olivier Giroud to Arsenal, Montpellier managed to hold onto their skipper until January.
Newcastle manager Pardew is under pressure after a desperate run of one win and six losses from their last seven league matches to leave the team just two points above the drop zone.
Pardew will hope to pair Yanga-Mbiwa with Fabricio Coloccini in central defence, despite the Argentine’s desire to move back to his homeland for personal reasons.
Newcastle have also completed the signing of fullback Massadio Haidara from Nancy and have been closely linked with forward Yoan Gouffran of Bordeaux.
In other transfer news, Roma have signed defender Vasilis Torosidis from Olympiacos, reportedly seeing off interest from Fulham.