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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Obertan to join Toon's French revolution

Newcastle United are poised to clinch the £3 million capture of Manchester United winger Gabriel Obertan, with reports suggesting a deal will be finalised on Monday.

Obertan, 22, has found himself marginalised at Old Trafford as the club are able to boast a wealth of options in wide midfield positions, particularly after the signing of Ashley Young from Aston Villa this summer.

Former France Under-21 international Obertan has started just four Premier League games for the Red Devils since joining for £3m from Bordeaux in July 2009.

He will become Newcastle's fourth French signing of the summer, following Yohan Cabaye, Sylvain Marveaux and Mehdi Abeid into St James Park, where the Magpies begin their season against Arsenal on August 13 in front of the ESPN UK cameras.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew toldSky Sports: "All being well, the deal will be pushed through next week. He has not really had the chance to shine at Old Trafford but he has pace to burn and will bring some much needed sharpness to our side."

Although Pardew insists Joey Barton has a future at the club following his Twitter rants, it is easy to interpret Obertan's arrival as the manager making plans for life without Barton, who played most of his football on the right wing last season.

Barton is rumoured to be interesting Stoke and Arsenal, among others, after being told he can quit Newcastle on a free transfer.

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