Montpellier raise asking price for Newcastle target Rémy Cabella

• French side want £12m for playmaker after initial £7m offer
• Cabella earmarked as direct replacement for Yohan Cabaye

Rémy Cabella’s proposed move to Newcastle United from Montpellier has hit a snag after the French club raised their asking price to around £12m.

The Tynesiders believed their £7m offer had been accepted in principle but now Alan Pardew faces an anxious wait to see if his board are willing to haggle and whether a compromise can be reached. It is understood Cabella has told his Ligue One employers he is determined to leave and that he is very interested in relocating to north-east England.

Pardew regards the 24-year-old playmaker as an ideal replacement for Yohan Cabaye who was sorely missed at St James’ Park following his £20m defection to Paris Saint-Germain in January.

Newcastle’s manager tried and failed to sign Cabella during that transfer window and now the future of a player currently on Didier Deschamps’ stand-by list for the Brazil bound France World Cup squad is once again in limbo.

The recruitment of Cabella could end Pardew’s disastrous attempt to make his team more direct in the wake of Cabaye’s departure. If Newcastle fans would welcome a reversion to more of a controlled passing game, they will also be relieved that Mike Ashley, Newcastle’s owner, seems set to deliver on promises to invest significantly in reconstructing the squad this summer. Ashley though is famously reluctant to pay over the odds.

Newcastle struggled horribly to score goals from midfield following Cabaye’s exit but Cabella, who has an Italian father, managed an encouraging 14 in 41 appearances for Montpellier last season.

A fast, agile and creative attacking midfielder he is capable of operating on either wing or behind the main striker as well as in a slightly deeper playmaking role.

While Pardew is determined to restock his heavily Francophone dressing room with more British players this summer Cabella – a creator tracked for many months by Graham Carr, Newcastle’s influential chief scout –always ranked high on his shopping list.


Louise Taylor

The GuardianTramp

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