Highly rated Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has confirmed interest from Newcastle United, and has told the club he would be open to a move to Tyneside.
But the 23-year-old has also garnered serious interest from Italian giants AC Milan, who are looking to fill the void left by Thiago Silva, and the player has hinted that he would see any move to Tyneside as a stepping stone to an eventual move to the Rossoneri.
The powerful defender led Montpellier to their unprecedented first Ligue 1 title last season, and has been in talks with the club regarding a renewed contact, which expires in 2013. Although he did not rule out signing an extension at the French club, Yanga-Mbiwa went on to admit that he has been tempted by interest emanating from Milan and Tyneside.
“Playing for Milan would certainly be a great opportunity for me, so now we wait," Yanga-Mbiwa told Italian publication TuttoMercato, reported by Sky Sports.
“I know that Newcastle are also interested in me. Newcastle would be a great opportunity for me, and I would hope that eventually I could join Milan,” he continued.
"Joining Newcastle before Milan would give me the chance to mature even more and gain more experience. We'll see what happens."
AC Milan are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, following the sale of Brazilian Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain. The 27-year-old joined the heavy spending Parisans for €42 million, a record fee for a defender earlier in the summer.