Pardew not worried over Cabaye future

Alan Pardew is confident Yohan Cabaye remains fully focused on Newcastle despite a developing saga over his future.

Yohan Cabaye

The 27-year-old has been linked with a move away from St James' Park for months with Arsenal having tried unsuccessfully to prise him from the Magpies' grasp in August with a £10million bid which amounted to barely half their valuation of the France international.

Pardew woke this morning to reports that Cabaye could invoke the so-called "Webster Rule" in FIFA's transfer regulations to buy out his own contract and therefore secure a move.

However, his current employers remain relaxed about the situation and Pardew is confident there will be no repeat of the situation at the start of the season when he had to do without the player amid claims that he had gone on strike.

The 52-year-old said: "It doesn't worry me. The point you are raising is something that has been raised at an international level, it's not isolated to Yohan Cabaye.

"Whether that's possible, I don't know, it's not my department, if I am honest.

"The most important thing is that he has two years left on his contract in the summer and we are looking forward to him playing for Newcastle for the rest of this season, and we will take it from there in the summer.

"There will be reports about him every day because he is a class player. The situation with him is easy: he is a Newcastle player, he is very focused on us.

"As I have said all along, he gets prime position in our team, and that's a luxury you don't get at all the top teams, so for him, it's a good position and for us, it's a good position for us to have him."

Arsenal's bid for Cabaye arrived on Mike Ashley's desk just hours before Newcastle opened their Barclays Premier League campaign at Manchester City, where a 4-0 defeat as defender Steven Taylor was sent off before the break did little to improve the mood.

The sides meet again at St James' Park on Sunday with the Magpies having improved significantly since then to lie in eighth place in the table.

Nevertheless, Pardew is keen to strengthen his squad, rather than see it weakened by the departure of his most prized asset, and has already indicated a striker is at the top of his wish-list with Loic Remy only on loan from QPR for the season and Shola Ameobi out of contract at the end of the campaign.

Newcastle are pursuing a long-held interest in Borussia Monchengladbach's Luuk de Jong, and they have been heavily linked with Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella in recent weeks.

However, Pardew, who insisted the club had not tabled a bid for any player, was giving little away.

He said: "You always want to progress. You want to progress as a team and the inclusion of another player would be great.

"From my point of view, I would like to see a player come in, but it needs to be right financially for the board.

"The legs are working under the water in terms of making calls and trying to manoeuvre a transfer that will work for us.

"From our point of view, there is interest in any quality player. But I am not going to talk about one individual."

Cabaye and goalkeeper Tim Krul, who missed the 2-1 FA Cup third round defeat by Cardiff through injury, have both returned to training, and Pardew will hope they can help to add City to the Magpies' list of big-name victims, which already includes Chelsea at home and Tottenham and Manchester United on the road.

City have been prolific on home turf - they scored six at the Etihad Stadium for the third time this season in midweek having already put seven past Norwich - and Pardew is hoping their slightly less impressive away form continues for another few days.

He said: "It's remarkable the amount of goals they have scored at home, truly remarkable. We are all fingers-crossed they don't start doing that away from home, otherwise we will all be in trouble."



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