Yohan Cabaye has been hailed as one of the best midfielders in the world by Newcastle boss Alan Pardew.
And while Pardew insists the club do not want to sell their creative fulcrum, there is an admission from the manager that they remain “vulnerable” to the biggest clubs in the world if they decide to make an offer.
Paris Saint-Germain have an interest in Cabaye, while Manchester United’s inability to land Cesc Fabregas has seen them linked with a move for the Newcastle playmaker. The Magpies have heard nothing so far and Pardew wants to keep it that way.
“It is quite a statement saying Yohan is one of the best players in the world, but I believe it,” he said. “As a midfielder you look at his creative ability and there are not too many around as good as him. He is a French international, he is at the perfect age... And I am not trying to sell him here, by the way.
“He makes an incisive pass, and if you are doing that they need to be accurate, otherwise they keep turning the ball over, and he showed that when he came on. He made the forward passes that made the difference.”
Pardew insists that United want to keep Cabaye – although the experience with Andy Carroll has taught him not to offer categorical assurances. “The speculation can only be good for Yohan’s confidence, so if clubs want to get involved, good luck to them. He’s one of the best midfielders in the world and we want to keep him,” he said.
“You are talking to a manager who has a history of Andy Carroll behind him, so you can never says never. But it is an area where, as a club, we are vulnerable to the bigger clubs if they are really decisive and make a bid that knocks us off our feet, but that is not my decision.
“But for me as the manager of course I want him to stay and have a fantastic season here, as the fans do.”
Pardew is still hoping for a couple of new arrivals but none appear imminent.
“I think there’s a lot of players still to move in this window and I like to think we’re involved in that. There’s some big transfers mooted that are not happening – whether they happen or not might trigger other events. So I think there’s still a lot to happen between now and the end of August.
“Whether there’s action between now and the weekend I’ll be surprised. I think players are away on international duty - I don’t think there’ll be too many transfer this week.”
Pardew also confirmed a calf injury will rule new signing Loic Remy out of contention for Manchester City – and said the club would “suck it and see” on his participation against West Ham.