Primeira Liga side Porto are poised to sell their stalwart defender Chancel Mbemba in January after ruling out the possibility to renew his contract due to worries about his age. The DR Congo international, who left Premier League side Newcastle in favor of a move to Portugal in 2018, has a contract expiring in the summer.
The reason why the player looks set to leave the Estadio do Dragao, according to reports, is that the club is dubious about Mbemba's age. The centre-back is registered as 27 years old on paper, but he might be up to five years older.
The Congolese ace has been on the radar of various big European clubs for a long time, but there have been many doubts about his real age over the past years. Interestingly, in spite of this, Serie A giants Milan, who are looking for a replacement for the injured Simon Kjaer, are allegedly the latest club interested in signing Mbemba this year.
Mbemba has four birth dates?
Portuguese publication Corriero de Manha have shown documents that Mbemba, in fact, has four dates of birth. It consists of the identical date, August 8 but with four different years. The report suggests that the player had listed 1988 as his birth year for his first two clubs in his homeland, Congo. However, when he participated in the Africa Cup Of Nations Qualifiers in 2011, his birth year had been altered to 1991.
He was born on August 8, 1994, according to Anderlecht's records, which means he was only turning 21 when he signed for Newcastle in 2015. The Portuguese media even add that Chancel Mbemba confided to his closest friends that he was actually born in 1990, further complicating the case. It is believed that, after completing his transfer to Belgium 10 years ago, the defender falsified his age.
A year later, in 2013, there was an inquiry as a member of the Congolese Football Federation disclosed that Mbemba's birth year was altered to 1991 so that he could compete in the 2012 Olympic Games, which only allowed U23 players to compete. He was then obliged to undergo a bone marrow analysis to determine his age, which only revealed that he is now 27 years old.