Yohan Cabaye given France warning
France national team coach Didier Deschamps has warned players such as Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye and Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho they will not play for their country if they do not feature for their clubs.
• Johnson: Do PSG need Cabaye?
Deschamps will name his squad on Thursday for Les Bleus' upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Belarus, though told RMC neither Cabaye, 27, nor Sakho, 23, can expect to be included having not played a single minute of competitive action for their clubs this season.
"If you don't play for three weeks, how can you be in shape to play an international? It's impossible," Deschamps said.
Though L'Equipe on Tuesday contradicted reports Cabaye had gone on strike in the wake of interest from Arsenal, claiming instead the midfielder had missed Newcastle's opening two Premier League matches with the agreement of manager Alan Pardew, it also stated PSG were to reignite their pursuit of the former Lille man, whom the Magpies have valued at £20 million.
PSG, meanwhile, remain waiting for an offer for Sakho, who has declared his intention to quit the club with a year left on his current contract after struggling to dislodge Alex as the preferred partner of Thiago Silva in central defence last season, and seeing competition for places increase with the arrival of Marquinhos this summer.
Liverpool and AC Milan are both reportedly interested in acquiring the powerfully-built Paris-born defender, but Deschamps warned both Sakho and others seeking a move they should choose their next step carefully if they want to enhance their chances at international level.
"There was a time when I took Mamadou Sakho when he was playing one match in two or three. Since the Champions Trophy, he's not got onto the pitch. He's fully aware that he can't hope to be called up for France," he said.
"I don't ask them anything. They're free to pursue their careers. But they know very well, and it's the same for everyone, you need a minimum of playing time. In certain clubs, there's competition. But you have to have minutes on the pitch, start games, to be able to hope to play for France."