Newcastle hopeful of retaining Cabaye - but Pardew taking nothing for granted (From The Advertiser Series)
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Newcastle hopeful of retaining Cabaye - but Pardew taking nothing for granted
NEWCASTLE officials are growing increasingly confident of retaining Yohan Cabaye beyond this evening's transfer deadline, although Alan Pardew admits he will not be able to breathe easily until the window closes at 11pm.
With Loic Remy the only player to have moved to St James' Park this summer, Pardew is hoping to make at least one more attacking addition on the final day of transfer activity.
However, with owner Mike Ashley unwilling to release the purse strings after a summer in which financial constraints have scuppered a number of proposed deals, the prospects of an incoming transfer being completed are slim.
Cabaye's departure could change that, although it is far from certain that the Frenchman would be replaced, even if he was to complete a move to either Arsenal or Paris St Germain, the two clubs to have made a formal approach for his services.
Cabaye returned to his native France on Saturday evening after making his first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute in Newcastle's 1-0 win over Fulham.
The 27-year-old midfielder, who was booed by a significant section of the Magpies' support, was surprisingly omitted from the French squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Belarus, and with Newcastle's players having been given an extended break at the start of the international hiatus, has taken the opportunity to return to his homeland.
Logistically, that could make it slightly more difficult to complete a last-minute move to Arsenal, although it is arguably easier to get to London from France than it is from Newcastle. It also remains to be seen whether the Gunners increase the £10m offer that was rejected out of hand last month, as last night there was growing speculation linking Arsene Wenger with a remarkable double deal for Real Madrid duo Mezut Ozil and Karim Benzema.
As of yesterday evening, Newcastle had still only received one offer for Cabaye, but while Pardew is increasingly confident the former Lille midfielder will not be sold, previous experience has taught him not to take anything for granted.
“I won't know until 11pm,” admitted the Newcastle boss. “We've said to his agent, 'Look, come on, play the game' because if he goes, we have to replace him. We can't afford to replace him before he goes because we're not sure that he is going to go so that bid needs to come in quickly if it's coming in at all.
“If not, it won't happen. Or at least, I think it won't happen – you can never tell at this football club. The decision is with us and we will make the decision on what we think is right.
“It was important to get him out there (against Fulham) and that will make it easier to move on, although there is a lot of talking to be done between now and Aston Villa (if he is not sold). We need to speak to Yohan and his representatives to make sure that we go forward hand-in-hand.”
In conjunction with chief scout, Graham Carr, and much-maligned director of football, Joe Kinnear, Pardew has identified potential replacements for Cabaye, although it will not be easy to sign any of them even if there are early developments this morning.
Wigan's James McCarthy has long been considered a viable option, but Wigan have refused to lower their £15m valuation of the Irishman throughout the transfer window and are unlikely to do so today.
Blackpool's Tom Ince is another player to have come under serious consideration, but Tottenham made inquiries about his possible availability yesterday and would be willing to outbid Newcastle if it came to it.
A number of weekend reports linked the Magpies with Frenchman Florian Thauvin, but the club has no interest in the Lille midfielder, who is on the verge of joining Marseille.
“We've got replacements (for Cabaye) in mind, but we need to act quickly if that bid comes in,” said Pardew. “We still hope to get an offensive player in before 11pm and we're working towards that.
“I think it's fair to say that if we can keep hold of Yohan and add someone else it will have been a fairly successful window for us.”
Kinnear was not at St James' on Saturday as he was working on a potential signing, but given the 66-year-old's failure to recruit anyone other than Remy, a player who was on the verge of joining Newcastle as recently as January anyway, few will be too optimistic about the prospect of another arrival later today.
Demba Ba might be the likeliest option, with Chelsea looking to offload the Senegal international despite only signing him from Newcastle in January following the capture of Samuel Eto'o.
Kinnear is understood to have raised the possibility of signing Ba on a season-long loan, but Newcastle would be unwilling to match Chelsea's demand of a £3m loan fee or fund Ba's wages, which were raised significantly after he left Tyneside.
The Magpies could make a final attempt to resurrect a deal for Bafetimbi Gomis, although Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas, last night appeared resigned to the striker remaining with his current employers until at least January.
Aulas tweeted: “We have to face facts, there isn't an offer that Bafe has accepted despite (interest from) the 'English' and the 'Turks' and Lyon need a player like him.”
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