Newcastle United’s transfer plans are on hold while they await movements in the market.
The transfer window has been open for a fortnight, but to date there have only been 11 signings by the Premier League clubs.
The Magpies are playing down the prospect of making any themselves, but have contingency plans to bring forward some of their planned moves were any star players to leave.
Conflicting messages from Laurent Blanc are not helping, with the Paris Saint-Germain coach hinting they could yet use their financial muscle to prise Yohan Cabaye away.
Newcastle would only sell for a big fee, but as one of the richest clubs on the planet, that is not beyond PSG. Were it to happen, the Magpies would make a move for Montpellier’s Remy Cabella.
PSG were expected to bid for Cabaye last summer but did not. Blanc, who handed Cabaye his France debut, has suggested the Magpies’ reluctance to sell need not be a barrier to a late move.
“Until January 31, no one closes the door,” he insisted. “A transfer is a negotiation. The more a player is considered untransferable, the more likely it is that they will change teams.” With relegation-threatened Montpellier looking for £17m for Cabella, PSG would have to pay much more for Cabaye, who said last week he was happy to stay at St James’ Park.
Newcastle are waiting for Borussia Monchengladbach to sign a replacement before they can push ahead with a move for Luuk de Jong, but the departure of Papiss Cisse would increase their urgency.
The Magpies have held talks with their Bundesliga counterparts about a loan, but although de Jong is yet to start a game this season, they would like another striker in before allowing him to leave. Vedad Ibisevic, Valmir Berisha and Haris Seferovic have all been mentioned.
Were Cisse, who has attracted interest from the Middle East and the planned Indian Premier League, to go, it would leave the club with only the on-loan Loic Remy, Shola Ameobi – yet to score in this season’s Premier League – and Yoan Gouffran as centre-forwards.
Newcastle have also been linked with Sevilla centre-back Cala.
As a 24-year-old out of contract at the end of the season, the Spaniard fits the Magpies’ blueprint perfectly.
If they are able to strike a bargain deal, Newcastle will make a move, opening up the possibility of Steven Taylor moving on, with Crystal Palace and Stoke City interested.
St Etienne’s 19-year-old Kurt Zouma is another central defender Newcastle’s scouts are thought to be keeping tabs on, perhaps as a long-term replacement for Fabricio Coloccini. Zouma’s agent David Vendittelli has also been busy talking up interest from Chelsea, Inter Milan or Monaco. Were Newcastle to get wind of a bid, they might try to match it, and hope their reputation with French players holds sway. Dan Gosling is for sale but, with the midfielder available for free at the end of the season, no buyer has yet emerged.
Gosling is back at St James’ after spending the first half of the season on loan at Championship Blackpool.
Manager Paul Ince does not have the funds to sign Gosling permanently, and even if he did £30,000-a-week wages – heavily subsidised by the Magpies – would put him out of their reach.
Meanwhile, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has spoken of his relief after hearing Samir Nasri is only expected to miss the next eight weeks through injury.
The Manchester City midfielder was stretchered off during Sunday’s win at St James’ after a clumsy tackle from his fellow Frenchman.
“I was waiting to meet him in front of the changing-room door but he got treatment,” said Yanga-Mbiwa. “Then, I immediately tried to get his phone number. I called him several times but he never answered.
“I left a message, I tried again on Monday but I failed to talk to him. I will try again because I want to apologise personally. I was so sorry. I clearly didn’t want to hurt him or be violent. I wanted to trip him up, there was no nastiness. I finally heard it should be a two-month absence and I was relieved. When I heard it could imperil his World Cup, I felt really bad.”
Manager Alan Pardew will face no action for his foul-mouthed outburst at Manuel Pellegrini, although the Football Association has reminded him of his responsibilities. Pellegrini has accepted Pardew’s apology. “When the match finished, everything stayed there,” said the Chilean. “I have no problem about that.”