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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Debuchy holds Newcastle hope

Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy has spoken of his disappointment at not securing a move to the Premier League with Newcastle during the summer.

Debuchy, 27, was a long-term target of the Magpies with the player making no secret of his wish to quit the French club and be reunited with former Lille team-mate Yohan Cabaye.

Speaking to L'Equipe he said: "I fought to go to Newcastle, the President didn't want that.

"I didn't want to clash with him. I don't have any regrets. I had regular contact with the people from Newcastle, there were several offers of over €6m. The episode is past, I am 200% for Lille."

Many on Tyneside hoped the club could secure a deal to sign the defender, with managing director Derek Llambias revealing in late September that Lille's asking price had inhibited the club from completing the deal.

"Debuchy was a target and we were led to believe it would be around €6m but that was never the case, it was a lot bigger than that but it was pounds as well." Llambias said.

"We worked really hard on it and were keen to do the deal but if you can't afford it, you can't afford it. You can't keep going down the road of saying, 'Oh well it is only another two or three million."

Debuchy was also linked to Valencia and Inter Milan during the summer and acknowledges he had other offers - but maintains his intention was to join Newcastle, something he hopes may still happen in the future.

"I didn't want to leave for the sake of leaving. I wanted to join Newcastle. It's not certain if I will leave next year," Debuchy said. "I hope there will be other opportunities."

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