Remy Cabella is keen on a move to Newcastle United and will look to push through a move to the North East – provided the Magpies are willing to match Montpellier’s £12.5million asking price.
United’s transfer team face their most testing week since Joe Kinnear’s appointment as they hope to clinch a loan move for Luuk de Jong while also advancing their interest in talented wide-man Cabella, a long-term target of Newcastle’s influential chief scout Graham Carr.
Although The Journal understands they have indicated a willingness to sell, Montpellier are intent on playing hard ball with Newcastle over the fee and quotes emanating from their head coach Rolland Courbis which appeared to disparage the Magpies are indicative of that.
In a similar situation last year, Newcastle offered to pay transfer fees in full to secure deals for Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and that is one condition of any deal for Cabella.
Negotiations will continue this week and the Journal can reveal a delegation is set to jet out on Tuesday with a view to clinching the biggest deal United would have done since Papiss Cisse’s January move.
It was a move which appeared to gain momentum with quotes in the French media purporting to be from his father Hector claiming a deal would be done in January.
This was then folowed by Courbis claming a move to Newcastle would be bad for the midfielder.
He said: “I hope another club (other than Newcastle) tries to buy him. They are not a big club. Newcastle, as a player, I wouldn’t even want to spend a week there.’
The Journal also understands the move would not be dependent on selling Yohan Cabaye, whose excellent display on Saturday re-affirmed his importance to the Geordies.
Cabaye’s form has been noted by Manchester United and PSG but his focus remains Newcastle, where he is talking up Champions League hopes.
He said: “We are in good shape. Champions League is a bigger level but we have the capacity to just stay next to the big teams. If we are still in a similar position (to challenge for the top four) by the end of the season why not?
“For me the most important thing, as I said, is to do my best for the team.
“If the manager or the staff are happy with my performance and the fans who are supporting me are happy, I am happy.
“My mentality hasn’t changed. Even after what happened in the summer - and I will do my best for the team every day.”
United arrested a winless streak against West Ham thanks to Cabaye’s majestic display.
He added: “I think we showed a lot of confidence on the pitch.
“We knew against City we did well but unfortunately we lost the game. We know it is a tough place to come here.
“It’s always difficult to play against West Ham, but we did well except for the goal we conceded just before half-time. We deserved to win.
“So the confidence is good. We just need to keep going and try to win the next game.”
Cabaye is with the rest of the United squad in Abu Dhabi as they don’t play again until Norwich a week tomorrow, but he feels the lack of pressure on Newcastle’s shoulders could play into their arms after February.
He said: “We are in a good position and we stay just behind the top six, top seven. We can work without pressure.”