Who Is AC Milan Transfer Target Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa?
AC Milan have yet to sign Montpellier's 23-year-old French international centre-back Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
A few weeks ago, Milan CEO Adriano Galliani revealed that the club had submitted a bid for Yanga-Mbiwa.
Seemingly before negotiations even began, Galliani pulled the plug on the deal saying: "Montpellier turned down our offer and we cannot reach an agreement. Therefore, the case is closed, with no regrets or bitterness."
Here's what Rossoneri supporters need to know about Yanga-Mbiwa.
AC Milan's Current Centre-Backs
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Francesco Acerbi, Age: 24, Italian
He would have been 20 when he watched Željko Kalac's career at Milan implode in the span of 58 excruciating minutes during a pre-season friendly against Chelsea. The point is that you can lose the trust of your teammates, management and the supporters in a meaningless game.
Acerbi hasn't given the coaching staff any reason to start him because his pre-season has been forgettable. Rodrigo Palacio probably wishes he could play against Acerbi every week.
AC Milan News tweeted Acerbi saying: "My Milan idols? I adored Weah. I have videotapes with all his goals, and obviously Van Basten."
Milan supporters should send Acerbi some archival footage of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, and Alessandro Costacurta.
Cristián Zapata, Age: 25, Colombian
Acerbi looked reasonably solid when he did play Chievo, yet has looked terrible in pre-season. Whereas Zapata forgot how to defend at Villarreal, but performed like the Udinese Zapata against Juventus.
Philippe Mexès, Age: 30, French
On paper, he's the best centre-back Milan at this moment, which shows the dearth of defensive talent at the club. He's prone to making mistakes, he struggles against tricky forwards and isn't reliable.
Daniele Bonera, Age: 31, Italian
When he's good, he'll keep Lionel Messi at bay. When the 31-year-old is bad, he is disastrously bad. That being said, considering the short-comings of Milan's centre-backs, this is Bonera's best chance to make the transition from squad player to weekly starter.
Mario Yepes, Age: 36, Colombian
When he was younger, he was a beast, but nowadays, he's just a squad player.
So now you may understand why signing someone of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa's quality would radically improve Milan's back four.
What You Need to Know About Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
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6'1" (1.84m), 170 lbs (77kg), Age: 23, French
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is Montpellier's captain because he has the respect of management and his fellow teammates. The fact that he's still 23 indicates how mature and professional he is.
Yanga-Mbiwa is relatively good at winning back possession, which is why he averaged 2.3 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per game last season.
He was a consensus pick in French Football Weekly’s Ligue 1 Team of the Year.
After finally making his international debut against Uruguay, he stood out with some perfectly-timed tackles which pacified Sebastián Abreu.
Simply put, Yanga-Mbiwa is a solid centre-back with elite potential.
Reading into Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa's AC Milan Transfer Situation
Photo: Associated Press
AC Milan went from seeing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa as a future Rossoneri to canning him for former Udinese defender Cristian Zapata.
Prior to signing Zapata on loan, Adriano Galliani opined on the idea on submitting a bid for Yanga-Mbiwa: "We have made an offer and we'll travel to Montpellier shortly. We'll see what happens. It's a matter of money."
Montpellier president Louis Nicollin didn't have nice words for Galliani:
This makes me laugh. Those guys just got out of bed. They sold a guy for 45 million euros and they want to steal one of ours. If they offered 25m or 30m euros then fair enough, but from what I understood, they merely come in with 5m or 6m euros. [Galliani should] go play in movies and not hassle us.
To give some context to Nicollin and Yanga-Mbiwa:
2. Nicollin has never sold a defender for €5 million+.
4. When does his contract expire? Next season.
Milan's frugal transfer policy would indicate that the club haven't closed the door on signing Yanga-Mbiwa. Instead, they will target him as a Bosman signing next season.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa Alternatives
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Nicolas N'Koulou, Marseille, Age: 22, Cameroonian
Calm and collected in possession, N'Koulou has a knack for forcing opposing centre forwards away from goal.
Mateo Musacchio, Villarreal, Age: 21, Argentine
He intercepted the ball 150 times last season which tells you that he reads the game very well.
Willy Boly, Auxerre, Age: 21, French
Dominant at the back, strong in the tackle and one to keep an eye on.
Diego Reyes, Club América, Age: 19, Mexican
Four years ago, an 18-year-old Brazilian called Breno stunned the footballing world with some outstanding displays at centre-back during the Beijing Olympics. He's now serving time behind bars for arson.
Reyes looked a superb prospect during the Olympics but can he make the transition into an elite centre-back? If he has the ability, does he have the mentality?