Alan Pardew has told the Journal he has not ruled out selecting midfielder Yohan Cabaye for Newcastle's game against West Ham United on Saturday, despite the flurry of speculation surrounding the player’s future at the club.
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Cabaye, 27, is a transfer target for Arsenal, who saw a bid in the region of £10 million rejected outright as the Magpies are seeking closer to double that figure.
Opting not to pick Cabaye for Monday’s trip to Manchester City, Pardew refused to rule out making the same decision for Saturday’s visit of West Ham United, as Newcastle look for a response to their 4-0 drubbing in the north west.
Providing an update on Cabaye’s future Pardew told the Journal. “I am not saying Cabaye is definitely out on Saturday. I have a good relationship with Yohan. I think it is important that it stays a good relationship, for him and for me and for this club. I have to say I think this has been one of the toughest weeks for our fans, in terms of Cabaye.
“He is a great player. In my opinion, he is one of the best in the world in that position and I have worked with a few, including Michael Carrick and (Javier) Mascherano, so I like to think I know. I put him in that bracket. But there has to be a way back for Yohan as well. So I have to be very careful in these next 10 days, where there is a position where yes, maybe there is a solution and he moves on, but there is also a solution that he continues to play for us.
“We have to make sure we have things in place and are ready to go. (But) we are not under any financial pressure to sell anybody. Therefore I have to be seen to be fair and to be managing the whole picture. The most important thing about this whole scenario is that the club wins. The club has to win here, no one else. That is what comes first on my shift. I am manager of this football club and will do what is best for the club.
“So if he stays, we need to get the best out of him. This has been a particularly poor week on a number of levels but you get through that. Sometimes adversity comes but I’d rather have it now than at the end or the middle of the season.”
Also linked with Paris Saint-Germain, the French club are said to have cooled their interest slightly, leaving Arsenal as the front-runners for Cabaye’s services. Asked whether he had given up hope of keeping the France International, Pardew said: “No, I am not.
“You cannot go on a forecourt of a car showroom and say to the dealership ‘Here is what my valuation is and I’m just going to drive it off’. It does not work like that. You have to agree, and only then can you drive it off. We have had one bid and it was not acceptable.”