Yohan Cabaye has reassured Newcastle United fans he is not looking to leave this month.
Cabaye sat out the season-opener at Manchester City because he was trying to engineer a move to Arsenal but, after recovering from an Achilles problem, he will face Manuel Pellegrini’s side tomorrow having reaffirmed his commitment.
Although manager Alan Pardew has tried to increase the pressure on director of football Joe Kinnear to bring in new faces this month, the threat of Cabaye leaving seems to have receded.
The Frenchman concedes the January transfer window makes life difficult for everyone in football, but he has tried to ease it for Newcastle’s fans by stressing he is not looking to join Paris Saint-Germain – or any other suitor.
He said: “For me to go to Paris or another club, there is nothing.
“I just want to be focused on the next game.
“Nothing is happening for me. When you know what you want, it is easier.
“I think it (the transfer window) is hard for every player. It depends what the player wants – if he wants to leave or stay.
“There is always speculation about transfers, even in January, so it’s hard for the player, the club and the fans, for everybody.
“It is not a good period for everybody. We just have to stay away from that speculation and stay focused on our jobs, and my job especially.”
Meanwhile, Pardew has warned a second transfer window without buying a player would mean a busy summer for Kinnear.
His only signing to date has been Loic Remy on a season-long loan. Despite having braced supporters to expect it, Pardew admits he does not want another window of inactivity if the Magpies can help it.
“I think the group is a good one and we have proved that,” said Pardew, whose club are yet to bid for a player this month, “but you want to improve.
“Therefore, there has to be transfer activity at some stage.
“I would not want it to go to the summer but if that is the case then, for sure, we have some work to do in the summer because we would have to look at two or three players.
“However, we have ourselves a good base and that is important.
“We do not have to be kind of forceful with what we are doing because we are not in a position of negativity like last year and like one or two clubs are finding themselves in now.
“We ain’t got that pressure on us but, having said that, I still want to bring a player in.”
Spooked by the threat of relegation, Newcastle signed five French players last January.
No buys this month means the next time they dip into the market would be 18 months later.
The success of Mathieu Debuchy, Yoan Gouffran, Moussa Sissoko and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa this season (Massadio Haidara has missed most of 2013-14 through injury) has shown the value of giving overseas targets time to settle. It is an argument in favour of buying now.
Pardew added: “This year is very different. The team is strong and that will make it easier.
“I would say it would be better to buy now but the problem you have in this window is that clubs are very, very reluctant to sell.”
Newcastle will make a late decision on Davide Santon’s fitness to face City.
Having made his first start after injury last week, Haidara offers cover at left-back.
With Debuchy suspended, the Magpies will also need some on the right, where Santon played against Cardiff City. Yanga-Mbiwa and Steven Taylor are options.
“He hurt his thigh before the Cardiff game,” Pardew said of Santon. “He got through it but it hasn’t really improved so we have kept him out of training.
“We will make a call on that one, but Massadio has been waiting for his chance and I have no worries about sticking him in.”
With Fabricio Coloccini out with a knee injury, Cheick Tiote deputises as captain. Cabaye was vice-captain until going on strike.
Pardew said: “I thought Cheick excelled with it on his arm last time. I don’t think it makes any difference to Yohan in terms of how he plays but it does with Cheick. I think he took it as a personal challenge so he can keep it.”