French international knew his destination - despite Arsenal and Manchester United links

Remy Cabella

Newcastle United playmaker Remy Cabella has revealed that he only wanted to join Newcastle - despite reported interest from Arsenal and Manchester United.

Playmaker Cabella, 24, joined Ajaccio at the age of 14 from local side Gazelec Ajaccio, and whilst he spent the 2010/11 season on loan at Arles Avignon, he then became Montpellier's star player - particularly after the club lost Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Younes Belhanda and Olivier Giroud after their shock Ligue 1 title win in 2012.

With 14 goals in 37 Ligue 1 last season, it was no surprise to see the French international linked with moves to the Premier League. Arsenal and particularly Manchester United were credited with an interest in the attacking midfielder, but Cabella decided to stay with Montpellier in order to help them achieve Ligue 1 survival after the club found themselves dragged into the relegation mire.

After such highly regarded interest, president Louis Nicollin told Cabella that he wouldn't be allowed a move to Newcastle as his talent deserved better. Yet, after the Magpies offered Montpellier £12m for their prized asset, Nicollin reluctantly agreed to let Cabella make the switch to St. James' Park - and despite the interest from Arsenal and United, Cabella says that it was always Newcastle that he wanted.

"It was the best choice for me! The club I needed. Everyone here, the club, the staff, the coach, have confidence in me," said Cabella. "They were pushing crazy for me. Already in January, and this summer. There were other clubs who were interested, but I only had Newcastle in mind. Upon return from Brazil, I told my entourage: 'I want Newcastle I do not care of the rest.'"

"At one point, the president scared me by telling me that he refused the offer of Newcastle. But my father explained things well and, in the end, Louis Nicollin blurted out: 'That's okay, we'll let you go.' He and his son were important to me. Montpellier, it was like a family."

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