Newcastle United’s pursuit of Montpellier playmaker Remy Cabella took a nasty turn yesterday - as Montpellier’s infamously outspoken family owners spoke against a switch to the North East - stating:
“‘There is already one of us who is over there (Yanga-MBiwa) and I wish him all the best. I think that Remy deserves something else other than Newcastle. Me, personally, I would not go over there. You have to piss yourself over in Newcastle… in London, okay I understand.”
But the Nicollin family, who own the club, are no strangers to bizarre public statements - especially when it comes to valuing their players. They once publicly valued Olivier Giroud at €50 million and then proceeded to sell him to Arsenal for just over £10m a few months later.
In June last year the clubs chairman Laurent Nicollin had this to say in regards to potentially selling Cabella - amid interest from Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal:
"He is non-transferable. The desire of the club is to keep Remy - he was told and knows this. If a club arrives and offers €100million, it will be discussed though."
However just two weeks later the clubs owner, Louis Nicollin slashed his asking price, by 50%!
‘’He will not go away, it is clear, clean and crisp! We do not need money, he will remain there, he even has a three-year contract. Except stupendous offer 50 million. "
But his price-tag continued to plummet - and in October 2013 the teams head coach Jean Fernandez stated:
"He is an intelligent boy who has made a good start to the season. Now in the winter transfer window if Manchester United offered €18million, as I see it, he must go. Even if you 'kill the team', you can't refuse."
Unfortunately for Newcastle, the most reasonable of those men has now been sacked - with Fernandez leaving in December.
So the value - well it has soared once again.
Now Montpellier president Louis Nicollin, who once called his own player’s half-retarded and former player Benoit Pedretti ‘a little queer’, has stated:
"Remy is a boy that I love and who deserves better than this club Newcastle, who cannot break a three-legged race in the Premiership. If they want to make big proposals in June-July, there will be no problem. But I would advise Remy to go elsewhere. To buy Cabella they will have to give us a lot of money. We have to live next year ... To let him go this winter; they must pay us what Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale."
That means Nicollin wants Newcastle to stump up around £86 million for the maestro which, good as Cabella is, seems steep.
Makes you begin to wonder if he is worth the hassle!
image: © strange lands travel blog