Newcastle United have been given the green light to make a move for long-term target Remy Cabella – by the highly-rated playmaker himself.
Despite talk of wanting domestic talent, United are interested in Cabella and Clement Grenier and have enquired about both. The Journal understands that United were angered by taunts from Montpellier president Louis Nicollin earlier this year and started sourcing other options, but the player’s open courting of United is a sign that both parties could come to a deal.
Newcastle believe that they can make swift progress in their recruitment drive and are hopeful of wrapping up at least one significant deal by the first week of June. They want to have wrapped up the majority of their business before pre-season training, and are also interested in Dmitri Payet of Marseille.
Payet is 27, could be secured for £5million, and would provide more incision from the wings, which is something Alan Pardew is desperate for next season. He also wants Newcastle to move for Andros Townsend, who will be available for £8million this summer.
But it is Cabella, who has been comprehensively scouted by Newcastle, who will pique the interest of United fans who have witnessed a huge creativity gap in their team since Cabaye moved to Paris Saint Germain.
“Newcastle is one of the great teams in England. (Yohan) Cabaye told me a lot of good things about them,” he said on French TV over the weekend.
“I have an agreement with Montpellier in case of an interesting offer. I will reflect calmly to make the right choice.
“I need to make the right choice for Euro 2016. I can also stay in France as Marseille is one of the big clubs interested in me.”
Newcastle’s desperate need for reinforcements saw them linked with moves for Darren Bent of Fulham and West Brom’s Saido Berahinho over the weekend, but The Journal understands there is no interest in either player.
Bent was a player who Pardew was interested in last summer, but the Fulham forward has been unable to reprise the sort of goalscoring form that made him a favourite at Sunderland. Newcastle believe that agents are utilising their name to try to generate interest in players, and have not considered either British-born forward as part of this summer’s comprehensive recruitment drive.
United have already confirmed that Dan Gosling will leave for Bournemouth when his contract expires and Luuk de Jong has been told the club will not follow up their interest in the Holland striker, despite having agreed a fee with Borussia Monchengladbach in January.
Newcastle are also set to allow Shola Ameobi to leave St James’ Park in the summer, with Hull City interested in a move for the veteran forward. Steve Bruce has a Europa League campaign to plan for next year and is keen on recruiting a player with European experience, who comes with a ringing character reference from Pardew.
There were reports in yesterday’s papers of the offer of a contract extension to the forward, but nothing formal has been tabled.