Newcastle United yesterday showed their determination not to sell Yohan Cabaye on the cheap – and will not be forced to do so with Papiss Cisse.
Weekend reports suggested Senegalese striker Cisse had a clause in his contract which would make him available for £6m this summer., but St James’ Park sources have denied this.
So while United are open to the idea of selling Cisse, with clubs in Turkey, Germany and even Qatar interested, their bargaining position is stronger for the absence of a summer buy-out clause.
They will be looking for nearer the £9m they spent on the striker two years ago, which would allow them to reinvest in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Luuk de Jong.
More alarming for Newcastle is Paris Saint-Germain’s belated arrival at the negotiating table.
With Manchester United also said to be weighing up a move for Cabaye, PSG lodged a £14m bid which was rejected out of hand.
Newcastle would want another £10m for the France international before selling.
As with Cisse, they have a replacement in mind, but the plan was to sign Montpellier’s Remy Cabella at the end of the season. With Montpellier threatened by relegation from Ligue 1 and French tax rules eating into their profit were a deal done earlier, it would cost Newcastle more than £14m to bring it forward.
Director of football Joe Kinnear is yet to make a permanent transfer since taking over in June, though he did oversee Loic Remy’s arrival on a season-long loan from Championship side Queens Park Rangers. PSG coach Laurent Blanc made public his admiration for Cabaye last summer without his club following it up with a firm bid.
It allowed Newcastle to keep hold of Cabaye despite his apparent determination to leave, refusing to play at Manchester City in the opening game of the season when Arsenal’s interest also became clear.
Under Mike Ashley Newcastle will always be prepared to sell their best players, but only at a high premium.
In January 2011 they sold Andy Carroll hours before the deadline without a replacement in return for £35m.
That money was reinvested in the summer on a number of players, which included Cabaye.
The 28-year-old has gone on to be one of Newcastle’s most influential midfielders on and off the field.
It is unlikely PSG, who Deloitte and Touche recently ranked ahead of Manchester City as the world’s fifth-richest football club, will end their interest with yesterday’s rejected bid and the saga could easily drag on until Friday’s 11pm deadline.
Whether they will match the Magpies’ valuation of around £25m is unclear.
A little over a fortnight ago Cabaye said: “For me to go to Paris or another club, there is nothing. Nothing is happening for me. When you know what you want it is easier.”
Reports from France last week suggested Cabaye had misgivings about how much he would play in Paris.
Cisse is more open to a move and, with only three goals this season, so are Newcastle - but it is clear he will only go to the right club.
Qatari side Al-Rayyan will probably be able to offer him most money, and Mönchengladbach – who could take Cisse as a makeweight for de Jong – the highest standard of football, although Turkey may be the most attractive option for him.
Besiktas director of football Önder Özen has admitted Cisse was one of three strikers his club was looking at.
Manager Alan Pardew needs to reinvigorate Newcastle’s goalscoring options and that will be all the more pressing were Cabaye to leave. He is their second-highest scorer.
Remy has 11, but only three in his last ten appearances, Yoan Gouffran six and Shola Ameobi none. Whether £8.5m-rated de Jong arrives permanently on loan could depend to a large extent on Cabaye and Cisse.