Newcastle United have been accused of taking Montpellier for “fools” by the French club’s president Louis Nicollin – who has also told Magpies target Remy Cabella a move to St James’ Park is “not for him”.
In the latest twist in this long-running transfer saga the outspoken Nicolin has taken a swipe at Newcastle, told them they will have to pay Euros 16million for Cabella and revealed Marseille have also made a bid for the player.
The interview is a clear attempt to pressure United into upping their offer for one of their top summer targets. Newcastle have made offers for him and Clement Grenier but the last contact between United and Montpellier was three weeks ago, when Newcastle tabled an offer of around £6.5million.
Since then Newcastle have signed Jack Colback and Ayoze Perez but they remain interested in tying up a deal for playmaker Cabella.
Their tactics have clearly irked Nicollin, although it is worth taking the latest inflammatory quotes from across the Channel with a pinch of salt because the Montpellier president is clearly looking to drive up the price for his star asset.
Asked about United’s interest in Cabella he said: “Yes, the ‘great’ English club Newcastle has made us an offer of 8 million for him three weeks and I refused. I think Newcastle is not for him and I also think they take us for idiots these guys.
“They sold Cabaye to PSG for I do not know how many millions so they should not they take us for fools.”
Nicollin has slapped a Euros 16million price tag on the midfielder and has told him that he will not be leaving if interested clubs don’t stump up the money for him.
United have already done business with Montpellier over Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa but there is no love lost between Newcastle the club’s president.
He said: “I saw (Florian) Thauvin was purchased for 16 million and I think Cabella is better than him so let’s say that 16 million he leaves.
“And if nobody wants to give that to us he will remain here. He still has two years of contract so there is no hurry. He will probably be upset for a month and then it will get better.
“It is not necessary that players always win anyway. Often when a player wants to leave he demands to get there. I hope he will leave but if no-one comes in with the money we want he will not go, that I guarantee you.”
Meanwhile, Sammy Ameobi admits he is battling to save his Newcastle career next season. The forward, with one year left on his deal, said: “I’m going to put in the effort and if I’m not good enough, I’ll have to move on.”