Newcastle United will not have to resist domestic interest in Yohan Cabaye in January after Manchester United decided against making a move for the France midfielder.
Despite an apparent assurance from Joe Kinnear on Monday no players would be leaving Newcastle during the transfer window, The Journal understands plans have been put in place if an offer in excess of United’s £23million valuation is tabled. Newcastle had lined up Etienne Capoue in the summer to replace Cabaye if he left, but Arsenal did not follow up an initial offer of £10million that United deemed derisory.
They have similar contingencies in place this month but it appears as if Paris Saint-Germain are Cabaye’s sole suitors after sources in the North West revealed David Moyes has privately written off a move for Cabaye. The Magpies know scouts from Old Trafford have watched Cabaye extensively over the past nine months but Manchester United’s policy under Moyes will be to try and bring in what they deem to be “world class” players.
Despite Cabaye’s stellar performances this season, they do not rate him at that level. That will be music to the ears of Alan Pardew, who is desperate to retain his star player this month as he looks to ressurect Newcastle’s hopes of achieving an above-par top-six finish.
Cabaye even talked over the weekend about aiming for the Champions League, although United were savvy enough to block any direct questions about his future in the wake of his match-winning display at Upton Park.
Newcastle will return from their warm-weather camp in Dubai tomorrow intent on stepping up their interest in Borussia Monchengladbach’s Luuk de Jong, the striker who is their only January target – unless Cabaye moves this month.
Newcastle want to have a deal tied up in time for their trip to Norwich, with de Jong keen to make the move after the completion of the Bundesliga’s winter break.
Despite claims to the contrary, Kinnear, the club’s director of football, was not in Germany last week but there have been further discussions about de Jong over the past 48 hours. The move would be a loan with a permanent deal built in.
As Newcastle look to maintain the momentum of Saturday’s win, defender Mike Williamson says he hopes to continue his own fine form – and the teams.
He said: “We are well aware of the quality we have in the squad here and we know the results we are capable of. It gives you the momentum to drive on and that is the consistency which the manager and all of us are striving for.”
Williamson’s own form has been excellent and his fine performance on Saturday came under the gaze of Roy Hodgson.
He added: “I look back on my career and have fantastic memories. However, there is always time to create new ones and to improve, no matter how old you are. I hope to be playing until I’m 40. I love the game and I still have as much passion for it as I have ever had.”