Newcastle still looking for fresh blood, despite confirming capture of Chancel Mbemba

Steve McClaren
Steve McClaren
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Newcastle United still have work to do in the summer’s transfer market – after Chancel Mbemba completed his move to St James’s Park.

But the Magpies are yet to make an improved offer for Florian Thauvin.

Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic have already arrived on Tyneside, while Anderlecht defender Mbemba’s move to St James’s Park was finalised yesterday after a Football Association panel granted a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) to back the DR Congo international’s application for a visa.

The 20-year-old has signed a five-year contract for a fee believed to be £8million.

He said: “I’m very, very happy to be here.

“This is the biggest league in the world and I’m very proud to wear the shirt for this team and play in this league.”

Now attention turns to other targets, notably QPR striker Charlie Austin.

A deal is also close to being struck for Northampton Town striker Ivan Toney.

Marseille winger Thauvin is also high on the Tynesiders’ summer shopping list, and a report in France claimed Newcastle had tabled an improved £12m bid for Thauvin.

However, the Magpies – who offered £10m for the 22-year-old last month – have not yet made another move for Thauvin.

Head coach Steve McClaren is hopeful of more signings between now and the end of next month when the summer transfer window closes.

Asked about the chances of more arrivals, the ex-Derby boss said: “We’re always looking, but they’ve got to be the right players.”

However, he’s delighted to have secured Mbemba, adding: “He is a proven performer at the highest level, he’s powerful, combative and will add quality to our defence.

“He also has an eye for goal which is an extra asset for us.

“We’ll get him integrated into the squad quickly once he’s with us.

“Unfortunately, due to the time it takes to process the visa application, that won’t be in time for our final friendly (tomorrow), but our focus will be to make sure he will be ready and available as soon as possible.

“I’m sure our supporters will take to him very quickly – he’s the sort of player fans will enjoy watching.”

Newcastle were beaten 2-1 at York City on Wednesday night, yet McClaren felt there were some positives.

He said: “We’re delighted with the players that we’ve got and their attitudes.

“Results are not important in pre-season, performances are.

“I’ve been pleased with some of the performances.

“I want to win, so I’m disappointed.

“We were poor in both boxes, but good in the middle.”

Newcastle play German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach at St James’s Park in their last pre-season friendly tomorrow (3pm) before starting their Premier League campaign at home to Southampton on August 9.