ALAN PARDEW has not ruled out Yohan Cabaye leaving Newcastle United before the transfer deadline, but hopes that lightning will not strike twice for the Magpies manager.
Pardew was at the helm in January 2011 when Liverpool paid £35m for Andy Carroll at the last minute, which gave Newcastle no time to find a suitable replacement. And, with Paris St Germain interested in Cabaye, who Pardew yesterday hailed as one of the best in the world, there is a real chance that the transfer window could close with the French midfielder no longer a United player.
Laurent Blanc, former France manager and now in charge at the Parisians, has urged Cabaye to move to the Parc-des-Princes to enhance his chances of World Cup selection, while also suggesting that Tottenham Hotspur are also interested.
But Pardew, naturally, feels that Cabaye's future lies on Tyneside.
“It is quite a statement saying Yohan is one of the best players in the world,” Pardew said after watching his side draw 1-1 with SC Braga at St James' Park on Saturday, for which Cabaye was a second-half substitute.
“As a midfielder you look at his creative ability and there a not too many around as good as him. He is a French international, he is at the perfect age, I am not trying to sell him here, by the way.
“He makes an incisive pass, and if you are doing that they need to be accurate, otherwise they keep turning the ball over, and he showed that when he came on. He made the forward passes that made the difference.
“You are talking to a manager who has a history of Andy Carroll behind him, so you can never say never (to a late departure). But it is an area, where as a club we are vulnerable to the bigger clubs.
“If they are really decisive and make a bid that knocks us off our feet - that is not my decision. But for me as the manager of course I want him to stay and have a fantastic season here as the fans do.
“One hundred per cent, he is not too good for us.”
Joe Kinnear was in the stands at St James' Park on Saturday evening, and Pardew will continue to liaise with Newcastle's director of football ahead of the Magpies' opening Premier League fixture at Manchester City next Monday night, while also preparing his team for the visit to the Etihad Stadium.
“We have a week now where I am laying down plans for the start of the season and I need to know where we are on transfers,” added Pardew.
“It falls a little kinder for us having a Monday night game. All the managers lose their players but we get ours back Thursday and have four days to work before Monday night. the same advantage for Man City but I do think it is better for us with the type of team we have. We have that work time to do it.”
Fabricio Coloccini headed home in the second half to cancel out Braga's opening goal from Alan in Saturday evening's friendly, which brought the curtain down on the inaugural Sir Bobby Robson Day, and for which Newcastle wore specially-commissioned black and white halved shirts.
Meanwhile, Moussa Sissoko, who impressed at the centre of the park on Saturday night, believes that the signing of his friend Bafetemi Gomis would be a good move for the striker.
Talks between the Gallowgate club, Gomis' parent club Lyon and the striker's agent have not reached a satisfactory conclusion and a deal for the 27-year-old seems set for failure.
But Sissoko, who had previously tweeted Gomis to say he was 'welcome' at Newcastle, said: “Bafe Gomis is my friend. He says to me that he wants to come to Newcastle, but it is not easy with the President (of Lyon) or an agent, I don't know.
“I don't know if its finished yet or not. If he comes here, it is a very good move for him.
“I will keep the message the same to him - we would like him to come to Newcastle. Maybe I will talk to him this week again.”
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot (Krul 46); Debuchy (Taylor 76), Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon (Dummett 46); Ben Arfa (Obertan 88), Tiote (Cabaye 46) Sissoko (Anita 76), Gutierrez (Sammy Ameobi 53); Cisse (Marveaux 76), Shola Ameobi (Gouffran 64). Sub not used: Gosling.
BRAGA: Eduardo (Cristiano 46), Joaozinho (Hanin 87), Luiz Carlos (Agra 46), Micael (Silva 68), Baiano (Pedro 82), Vinicius (Coelho 46), Alan (Rafa 46), Santos, Edinho (Yazaldo 46), Mauro (Barbosa 78), Pardo (Custodio 46).
Goals: Alan (46); Coloccini (60)