REMY CABELLA was at St James’ Park tonight to finalise a £12m move which could signal the start of a £20m-plus spending spree.
After months of discussions with Montpellier, Cabella has put the finishing touches to a £12m switch to Tyneside after interrupting his summer holiday to become the club’s biggest buy since Mike Ashley took control seven years ago. He has signed a six-year contract.
Newcastle, who confirmed the arrival just after 11pm on Sunday night, are also pressing ahead with attempts to buy Feyenoord full-back Daryl Janmaat and Monaco forward Emmanuel Riviere for around £6m each.
The imminent purchase of Cabella represents another major breakthrough for Pardew as he aims to strengthen a squad exposed for lacking depth in the second half of last season.
The 24-year-is was one of Newcastle’s primary transfer targets and arrives just a couple of weeks after Siem De Jong’s exciting £7.5m move from Ajax was confirmed.
Cabella can't wait to get going and he will be on the club's pre-season tour to New Zealand next week. He said: "This is a move that I really wanted to make, as I have heard nothing but good things about Newcastle United from everyone I spoke to.
"I wanted to join a great English club and that is why I have arrived here. I'm looking forward to pulling on the shirt and playing in this magnificent stadium, and I will give this club my maximum."
Playmaker Cabella, part of France’s World Cup squad, has been tracked by Newcastle for more than a year after chief scout Graham Carr became aware of him shining in Ligue 1.
Montpellier had initially refused to do business after becoming frustrated with Newcastle’s negotiations and refusal to offer somewhere in the region of the £13m they were asking for.
But, after further discussions, Montpellier coach Rolland Courbis accepted he was losing his side’s most creative player.
“It is not completed but it is on track and the negotiations continue. We know 99.9 per cent of what we will get,” said Courbis.
“Their offers were a bit upsetting knowing the price they earned for Cabaye and Debuchy is being transferred for at least 10m so to get offered eight for Cabella was a little annoying. They are now closer to the amount we want and it will definitely end in the coming days, it’s is 80 to 90 per cent done, but not 100 per cent.”
With Cabella concluding his move to the North-East, Pardew could also soon be a couple of defenders short.
St Etienne want to end Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa’s frustrating 18 months and have received encouragement from Newcastle, who are likely to lose money on the player who cost £6.7m in January last year.
If Yanga-Mbiwa does depart then Pardew will weigh up whether to bring in a new centre-back, although Holland international Janmaat, provided a deal can be completed, is capable of playing in the middle and so is Italian left-back Davide Santon.
Newcastle are to lose Mathie Debuchy too. He has agreed terms and passed a medical at Arsenal, where his £12m could be confirmed in the next few days.