ALAN PARDEW plans to sit down with Yohan Cabaye next week to assess the Frenchman’s commitment to Newcastle United after a summer of increased uncertainty surrounding his future.
Cabaye has been interesting big spending Monaco and Paris St Germain in his homeland and the Magpies are keen to listen to the midfielder’s take on it.
Pardew is in no mood to lose the player’s services, although does accept Newcastle could be forced to sell if there is a club willing to match their valuation, which is around the £20m mark.
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“It’s a bit difficult for me to talk about Yohan when I haven’t seen him because he’s still away,” said Pardew. “We’ve trained for a few really hard days here and the guys that have worked are looking great, the internationals are back on July 15 and I’ll sit down and talk to Yohan about the comments that have come out.
“The bottom line is, though, he’s got a three-year contract with us still to run and I expect him to be a big part of our season next year. Hopefully he will be. He’s still very much in my plans but like any player at any club there is a price but it’s going to be a very high price.”
While PSG boss Laurent Blanc has made Cabaye a priority this summer, suggestions in France claim Monaco have cooled their interest in the last few days.
After investing big in Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, Ricardo Carvalho, Jeremy Toulalan and Joao Moutinho and Eric Abidal, the wealthy French principality club is wary of spending another £20m without selling first.
PSG are not faced with such a dilemma and have earmarked Napoli’s £50m-rated striker Edinson Cavani and Cabaye as the two main transfer targets before the new season starts.
Pardew has not been impressed by Blanc’s willingness to discuss his admiration for the former Lille man, but has not given up hope on keeping Cabaye on Tyneside next season.
The 27-year-old has emerged as a key leader in a multi-national dressing room largely made up of his compatriots and Pardew is keen to ensure his foreign imports hit the ground running when the Premier League restarts on August 17 at Manchester City.
There were communication problems in the final few months of last season because of the January influx of players from France, so Pardew has been looking for his continental captures to work on their English.
“It’s very natural in the heat of a game or in the heat of training to stick to your natural tongue but we’re trying to knock that out of them,” said the Newcastle boss. “They can be understood, they can talk to the guys in the media but on the pitch we’re trying to encourage a little bit more understanding so we all know what’s going on. That’s an issue we can all improve on.
“I think it was a little bit unfair for us to be judged on last season in terms of the environment they came in to, we didn’t have our best players available at times and we didn’t have momentum with us and they were trying to find their feet in a division that was completely different. Between Ligue 1 and the Premier League there’s a big difference.
“But we’re very happy with the new signings and I think they’re going to show this year what good players they are. I don't think it is a bad thing sometimes to have a season where things don't go well. You learn a lot. You learn more about the environment you are in. Now we are starting afresh and it is a different environment already.”
One Newcastle midfielder looking certain to depart is Dan Gosling, although Crystal Palace insist there is still plenty of work to be done to finalise a deal.
Palace have been in contact with St James’ Park and are interested in taking the midfielder to Selhurst Park ahead of their return to the Premier League.
But Eagles’ chairman Steve Parish claims nothing is guaranteed so far, even if Newcastle are hopeful of something happening in the not too distant future.
Parish, speaking to the Croydon Advertiser, said: “There have been a few conversations with them – not on a fee, just details. He’s had injuries, but to clarify nothing has been agreed. It’s something we’ve made an inquiry about, that’s all.”