Newcastle United want another four players to add to the capture of Remy Cabella, who is edging closer to St James’ Park after the Magpies finally brokered a deal with Montpellier for their top summer target.
United are ready to pay their biggest ever fee for a midfielder if the highly-rated Cabella – who is currently on holiday – can agree personal terms in the next few hours. According to sources in France, Newcastle want to offer him a six-year contract and will match the wages paid to Yohan Cabaye.
After securing deals for Ayoze Perez, Jack Colback and Siem de Jong the Magpies are looking to recruit another five players before the transfer window closes on September 1 – and hope to unveil Cabella (below) as the first of that quintet early next week after agreeing to pay Montpellier around £12million for their star asset.
News of the deal was confirmed last night by Laurent Nicollin, Montpellier’s CEO, who was quoted in French newspapers as saying: “There is an agreement with Newcastle.”
United sources last night insisted there was still work to do, and Cabella may need to break off his holiday in Corsica to complete the formalities of the deal.
But United should have few problems meeting his wage demands – and the player has already told Montpellier that he wants to move to Newcastle through his representatives.
Cabella represents an exciting and eye-catching signing by Newcastle, who have been desperately attempting to plug the creativity gap that was left by Cabaye when he moved to Paris Saint Germain in January.
He fills a similar role to Hatem Ben Arfa, who in a sobering development has been exiled to training with the under-21s, but he can also play just off a striker and out wide. He is two-footed, skilful and has a fine scoring record.
Newcastle will be thankful that they have managed to secure the player viewed as pivotal to improving their terrible record in the second half of last season.
He is player that has been tracked by chief scout Graham Carr for three years and represents another major capture as United look to re-model their squad and turn it into a more mobile attacking unit.
United had been reluctant to go above the £10million mark for Cabella and tabled a bid of around £9million for the player earlier in the summer, which angered officials at Montpellier.
But with the Ligue 1 club having failed to generate much more interest in their star asset, they have returned to the negotiating table and managed to raise the £12million fee that they had originally looked to bank for the playmaker.
United’s recruitment has stepped up a gear since the start of this week with a bid turned down for right-back Daryl Janmaat on Wednesday and interest apparently shown in Monaco forward Emmanuel Riviere.
Newcastle have tabled an initial offer of around £5million for Holland international Janmaat, who is their number one target to replace Mathieu Debuchy – whose move to Arsenal is as good as done.
United have let it be known that they will not sanction the sale of Debuchy until a replacement is secured in an effort to assuage talk that they are solely a selling club.
Meanwhile, goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman has hailed the potential of United’s clutch of goalkeepers and hailed the possibility of improvements next year.
His son Freddie won the European Under-19 championships with England while Tim Krul inspired Holland’s World Cup quarter-final shoot-out victory.
“It could be an exciting season,” said Woodman.