Newcastle Transfer Focus – Cabaye hints at summer exit

With manager Alan Pardew reiterating his desire to strengthen his squad, many of his star players are in fact being linked with moves away from the northern club after their disappointing season. Papiss Cisse, Hatem Ben Arfa and Fabricio Coloccini have all been subject of transfer rumour but in particular Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle’s key playmaker, has been the centre of attention after his excellent first season last year before an injury ravaged campaign.

The likes of the Daily Telegraph and Sky Sports are reporting comments made by the French international that he would be interested in a move to Manchester United. New manager David Moyes is said to want more depth in his midfield, particularly with the retirement of veteran Paul Scholes, and Cabaye himself has expressed his admiration for United, saying: “I liked this club for a long time, I like what they do.

While a fee of £20m has been mooted, Newcastle will surely want to keep hold of their star asset, who joined from Lille for an undisclosed fee in 2011. The Frenchman has quickly established himself as a vital part of Pardew’s first XI and to lose him would be a bitter blow to hopes of another European finish next season.

With Coloccini’s proposed move to San Lorenzo seemingly about to fall through, Newcastle fans will hope their manager can persuade the popular midfielder to stay in the north of England. Investment in the squad may encourage Cabaye to stay at least another season, and with the club linked with several different players fresh faces look likely at St James’ Park.

Newcastle are reportedly keen on the defensive trio of Reading’s Alex Pearce, FC Twente’s Douglas and another French player in Mamadou Sakho of Paris Saint-Germain. Landing at least one of these targets will surely help a defence that leaked 68 goals last season. Coupled with this, recent reports from Sky Sports that Cheick Tiote is set to snub any interest from clubs to help lead the Magpies back into Europe, and the club could be heading in an upward direction.

If Cabaye were to leave then Newcastle would be left with massive boots to fill in midfield. While the reported price tag could go towards bringing in a replacement of measurable quality, their poor season may go a long way in putting off potential signings.

However, Sky Sports suggests high profile French target Mathieu Valbuena has refused to rule out a move away from current club Marseille. While Arsenal have also been linked with the attacking midfielder and can offer more Champions League football to the Frenchman, Newcastle’s ever growing base of French players may well tempt Valbuena into a surprise move.

Although not a direct replacement for Cabaye, his creative talent and big competition experience would no doubt improve the squad, whether his international teammate decides to leave or not. However there is no doubt that Newcastle fans will want to see Cabaye in the black and white come next season.

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