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Newcastle step up Cabella pursuit as Pardew aims to keep best players
NEWCASTLE UNITED are pressing ahead with plans to add to the squad this month, but manager Alan Pardew will not take anything for granted in the remaining 11 days of the transfer window.
Newcastle are understood to be actively working on a deal which could see £12m-rated Montpellier playmaker Remy Cabella move to Tyneside.
The player's father hinted over the weekend a deal could be done in the 'winter' - even though the Ligue 1 club's coach Rolland Courbis has recommended he goes somewhere else.
Courbis said: “They are not a big club and I hope another club tries to buy him. As a player I would not even want to spend a week there.”
Before he added last night: "I do not think that Remy Cabella can be transferred for this amount when compared to the ridiculous numbers discussed for (Yohan) Cabaye."
Director of football Joe Kinnear has also had discussions with Borussia Monchengladbach about taking Dutch forward Luuk De Jong over from Germany.
Successful discussions on such fronts would likely mean a departure, with Monchengladbach's interest in Papiss Cisse making him a possibility.
Newcastle are likely to be able to cope should Cisse, who has been suggesting he would prefer to stay and fight for his place, move on.
But Pardew, who surprisingly lost Andy Carroll to Liverpool on deadline day in 2011, is wary of ruling out a greater sale knowing there has been interest from a number of clubs, including Manchester United, in Yohan Cabaye.
Cabaye was at his best at Upton Park on Saturday when his two goals capped a brilliant individual display in a 3-1 victory over West Ham United. Such displays are only likely to heighten talk of a big money offer from the likes of United or Paris St Germain.
Pardew said: “All the transfer windows, as manager of Newcastle, are nervous. I will be nervous until it shuts. You get nervous every window. We did not expect Andy Carroll to go but it was a bid that came out of left field. You can never, never say never again.
“Like all Premier League clubs everybody is for sale at some price. We are very conscious we have got a good team and we will try to keep it together.”
Cabaye shone in the middle against the Hammers, while his compatriot Loic Remy enhanced his reputation with the 11th goal since moving on loan from Queens Park Rangers in August.
Newcastle would like to keep the France international, but Pardew admitted Remy is keen to keep his options open for as long as he can after being linked with a number of clubs, including Arsenal.
The Newcastle boss said: “The plan was always that he would be on loan for the year. For us we would like to do it permanent but there is a long way until that happens.
“The player and his agents need to make sure that it is right for the player and we honour that. We have no problem. Obviously We are talking to him all the time. He played well.
“I can’t complain he has been very professional around us with everything that he has done. Obviously he has been scoring goals.”
The goals from Cabaye and Remy in East London sealed a win which closed the gap to the Champions League places to six points. Such a finish might still seem fanciful, but Pardew wants his players to keep performing.
He has taken his squad to Abu Dhabi for a warm weather training camp to take advantage of a free weekend following Newcastle's early FA Cup exit.
Newcastle will return to Premier League action a week tomorrow at Carrow Road, where they will look to claim a seventh away win of the campaign.
Pardew said: “We really focused on our three midfield players this week to dominate that area and I thought that came through at West Ham, we were terrific in the first half particularly. We are feeling really good about the season and looking forward to the second half of the season.
“We have to go on that similar run prior to our last three games. I have to say that we have played really well against Manchester City and Arsenal and got nothing from those games. We won at West Ham and we take some good confidence into the Norwich game.”
* Former Newcastle managing director Derek Llambias is believed to be interested in succeeding Nicolas Cortese as Southampton's sporting director.