Pardew brushing aside reality of Cabaye ambitions

Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew has downplayed reports that Yohan Cabaye will be leaving Newcastle by saying Champions League ambitions are only natural.

The France international expressed earlier this week that he misses the rush of taking part in Europe’s elite competition, fueling speculation that a move away from St James’ Park is imminent.

Arsenal and Liverpool are understood to be interested in taking on the 27-year-old, whose contract with the Magpies runs until 2016, as he contemplates his future at a crossroads in his career.

Roma boss Rudi Garcia, formerly in charge of the midfielder whilst at Lille, is also thought to be keen on bringing the former Les Dogues man into his currently undefeated Giallorossi side.

Newcastle have recovered from a mediocre start in the Premier League to sit eighth in the standings, two points adrift of the top four, on the back of three straight victories, but the club’s credentials to finish in the Champions League places must be seriously questioned given past inconsistency and an ultra-competitive field.

But Pardew insists that it is only a positive that Cabaye yearns for the European spotlight.

"Sometimes you know when they [Cabaye and Fabricio Coloccini] are abroad they get asked questions that are slightly loaded, that have slightly different connotations to them," the manager told Sky Sports.

"But if you were to ask me if I wanted to play in the Champions League, then I would tell you 'absolutely, yes'.

"And that's what Yohan wants to do, of course he does. But we want him to do that here. We are trying to build that but it is difficult and it's only players like Yohan Cabaye that are going to get us there.

"For him to have ambitions to play in the Champions League, I have no problems with that, none whatsoever.

"We have geared him up to have a fantastic World Cup. He's in great shape at the moment. We think he is one of the best payers in the league."

Pardew indeed may be thinking wishfully that Newcastle could provide Cabaye the level of competition he desires, as the Magpies’ chances of reaching the Champions League are tenuous at best, and in turn it seems to reason that the Frenchman will be keen to pursue his options elsewhere when the time is right.

Newcastle were able to hold onto the Frenchman over the summer at the boss’ insistence with Arsenal already circling, but it seems just a matter of time before the player himself decides it is time to move on.

Of course, Pardew must make the best of Cabaye’s words as he looks to keep his side on track amidst a spike in form of late, but is actually quite aware of the implications of his star man’s statement, and would do best to make preparations for his departure, namely in identifying a successor.

The midfielder did confirm that he would see out the current term at Newcastle before considering his career prospects, a boon to his current employers, yet at the same time suggested that he isn’t convinced remain with the Toon would be the best choice going forward.

Pardew must come to terms with the idea that Cabaye quite likely will soon exit the premises whilst holding together his club’s season against the forces of distraction, and figure a way to transition into a new era in which the Frenchman will be back playing on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in a shirt of a different colour.

image: © Brian Minkoff - London Pixels

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