One of Joe Kinnear’s first declarations of intent upon being named Newcastle’s Director of Football earlier this month was to insist that midfielder Yohan Cabaye would be staying at St James’ Park.
However, given that the same man went on to pronounce Cayabe’s name wrong, and then incorrectly claim credit for the signings of Tim Krul and James Perch, Newcastle fans weren’t naïve enough to take too much from his proclamations that their key midfield creator would be staying on Tyneside.
Instead, they’d have taken more comfort from the fact that of the two clubs to have been strongly linked with him, one – Monaco – have already spent £60m on two midfielders this summer (Porto’s Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez), while the other – PSG – were too busy trying to sort out their managerial situation to focus on transfers.
Unfortunately for Newcastle fans, the latter situation has not only been sorted – with Madrid-bound Carlo Ancelotti replace by Laurent Blanc – but Blanc’s appointment is likely to see the Parisians reignite their interest.
Blanc is a known admirer of Cabaye, with the midfielder first catching his eye when the former Manchester United defender cut his managerial teeth at Bordeaux.
When Blanc led Bordeaux to their first French title in ten years back in 2009, a fifth-placed Lille side were one of few sides to remain unbeaten against Les Girondins, with Cabaye standing out in both matches. Blanc was duly impressed, and made Cabaye a full international in August 2010 after only two months in the job.
With Blanc now confirmed at the helm, Newcastle will be braced for a fresh bid as soon as next week from the favourites for the French title, 1/3 with Ladbrokes.
It’s not all bad news for Newcastle, however, as a fee of £20m plus would represent a significant profit on the £4m they paid Lille, with Alan Pardew expected to use the funds to bring in top transfer targets – two of which, Gabon strike Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and defender Kurt Zouma, are unsurprisingly based in France, with St Etienne.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.