Newcastle United are ready to proceed with a summer move for Montpellier schemer Remy Cabella – despite the latest set of contradictory quotes from the French club’s president Louis Nicollin.
The Journal understands that Cabella is still near the head of Newcastle’s list of summer targets and one of their priority options as they search for a replacement for Paris Saint-Germain January signing Yohan Cabaye.
Montpellier’s larger-than-life owner Nicollin has publicly mocked Newcastle and spoken of his disappointment at the club’s treatment of defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, but The Journal understands that his representatives remain keen to talk to the Magpies in the summer.
Newcastle were not able to meet Montpellier’s asking price of around £15million in January but sources within the club insist there is a greater resolve to improve the squad in the summer – provided Mike Ashley can be persuaded that Cabella represents a similar purchase to Cabaye.
United are understood to have widened their search for summer replacements to include Switzerland and Holland, and the club are keen to secure a permanent move for striker Luuk de Jong, who has impressed with his attitude both in training and during games.
There is a feeling that he will work as a good foil for either Loic Remy – who has stayed tight-lipped in talks with the club so far about his intentions – or one of the other strike targets that United are looking at.
Nicollin’s incorrigible quotes have caused consternation in the Newcastle boardroom but his latest dispatch was more conciliatory, with the president admitting that he would grant Cabella his wish to leave France and move abroad if he still wanted to quit the Ligue 1 club.
“When I give my word to someone I respect it. He was promised that if there was an ambitious club interested, we’d let him go,” said Nicollin.
“Unless there is something catastrophic in the last ten games, I think a club will come in for him.”
United believe their biggest problem could come if another Premier League club decides to table a bid, although the early indications are that Newcastle remain a major draw in France. His representatives have indicated that they would like to discuss a move with United, who need to source reinforcements to bolster a wafer-thin squad this summer.
Meanwhile, the Mapgies’ young defender Curtis Good hopes he will be able to keep his World Cup dream alive despite returning to Newcastle following an injury sustained while on loan at Dundee United.
The 20-year-old will be missing for between four and six weeks following an abductor injury that he suffered while with the SPL club but still has ambitions of going to Brazil.
That comes as something of a blow to the defender, who recently earned his first call-up to the senior Australia squad and played in their 4-3 defeat to Ecuador.
“It was my first call-up so it was pretty exciting when the call came,” he told Newcastle’s official club website yesterday.
“I had to come off with an innocuous sort of injury and we ended up losing 4-3, so there were highs and lows. It was unfortunate circumstances (with the result and the injury) but overall it was exciting.
“I hope he was, put it that way, but it’s just good to get your first cap out of the way because I was quite nervous before the game.
“At least I’m in the mix now but obviously I need to get this sorted if I want to have a chance of going to the World Cup.
“So fingers crossed it’s not too long and hopefully I’ll get another call-up.”