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Newcastle to wave 'au revoir' to French stars
NEWCASTLE UNITED'S French contingent will decrease significantly this summer as the club prepares to jettison a number of overseas players.
Sylvain Marveaux and Gabriel Obertan will be first through the exit door, with the pair not even having been named on the substitutes' bench against Manchester United last weekend despite the absence of a host of injured players.
Loic Remy, who had a scan on his injured calf yesterday, is not expected to remain on Tyneside when his loan deal expires at the end of the current campaign, while Mathieu Debuchy continues to drop hints about a possible return to Ligue 1. There are growing doubts over Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa's long-term prospects, which could also result in the defender returning to his homeland.
The most controversial departure, however, is likely to involve Hatem Ben Arfa after the winger's relationship with Newcastle's management team hit a new low at the weekend.
Assistant manager John Carver could be seen haranguing Ben Arfa repeatedly after he came off the substitutes’ bench in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United, with the midfielder's failure to track back causing particular frustration as Javier Hernandez scored the visitors' third goal.
Alan Pardew was forced to watch that incident from the stands as he is still serving a touchline ban in the wake of last month's altercation with David Meyler, but the Newcastle boss is understood to have continued the dressing down in the changing rooms after the game.
Having previously criticised Ben Arfa's attitude, and hinted that a number of Newcastle's senior players also harbour serious misgivings about the 27-year-old's work rate, it appears as though Pardew's patience has finally been exhausted.
Ben Arfa will enter the final year of his contract this summer, and rather than initiate discussions about a new deal, Magpies officials will listen to offers for a player whose reputation currently outweighs what he has actually delivered in a black-and-white shirt.
Both Paris St Germain and Monaco have previously been linked with a move for Ben Arfa, and both clubs are expected to step up their interest given that Newcastle will not be in a position to demand a sky-high fee for a player who will become a free agent in June 2015.
Having already prised Yohan Cabaye from St James' Park, Paris St Germain are poised to make a formal approach for Debuchy once the full-back has completed his international duties at the World Cup.
PSG boss Laurent Blanc has long coveted Debuchy, and the Champions League quarter-finalists are looking for a right-back to replace the ageing Christophe Jallet as the main competition to established number one Gregory van der Wiel.
Newcastle continue to regard the French market as a profitable avenue to exploit, and chief scout Graham Carr is expected to push for a renewed effort to sign Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella this summer.
However, Pardew has long argued for more British signings, and the Newcastle boss will continue to make the case for some domestic acquisitions when he meets owner Mike Ashley and new managing director Lee Charnley at an end-of-season debrief next month.
* Newcastle have been approached to play in a pre-season tournament in New Zealand in July.
The Magpies, who have already agreed to play two matches in Germany at the start of August, have been offered a place in a tournament that will feature Kiwi side Wellington Phoenix.
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