July 23, 2018 / 5:17 PM / 4 months ago

Newcastle defender Mbemba moves to Porto

FILE PHOTO: Newcastle United's Chancel Mbemba celebrates scoring at St James' Park - 7/5/17. Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Lee Smith Livepic/File Photo

(Reuters) - Defender Chancel Mbemba has joined Portuguese champions Porto from Newcastle United, the English Premier League side said on Monday.

The Democratic Republic of Congo international joined Newcastle from Belgium’s Anderlecht in 2015 and made 59 appearances for the English club, including 11 last season.

Newcastle did not disclose financial details of the deal, but British media reported that the club would receive about 5.5 million pounds for the player.

The 23-year-old could line up against his Newcastle team mates as soon as Saturday, when the sides face each other in a pre-season friendly.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has acquired three players so far, including converting the loan signing of goalkeeper Martin Dubravka into a permanent transfer from Sparta Prague for a reported 4.5 million pounds.

Benitez has also signed former Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung-yueng on a free transfer and brought in winger Kenedy on loan from Chelsea.

The Spaniard is keen to strengthen his squad and improve on last season’s 10th place league finish, but needs to sell players to free up funds for incoming transfers.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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