The Paris Saint-Germain star is reported to be on the verge of reuniting with ex-boss Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace in a deal worth around £10 million, with the BBC among those to have covered the proposed switch. The fact that Newcastle would allow such a quality player to slip through their grasp to a league rival speaks volumes about the club's inability to stray from their strict transfer policy.
At 29-years-old, many believe Cabaye to still be at the peak of his powers. It seems the transfer triumvirate of boss Steve McClaren, head scout Graham Carr and Managing Director Lee Charnley - all heavily influenced by owner Mike Ashley - see things differently.
What is the current policy?
Newcastle’s current transfer policy is to recruit players under the age of 25 from untapped European leagues, with a strong focus on France and the Netherlands. This allows the Magpies to purchase young talent at a reasonable price with a view to making a big profit once potential is fulfilled in the future.
Has this policy had success?
Yes, it has. Since 2011, Newcastle have made a huge profit on a number of stars, most notably Cabaye, bought for £4.3 million from Lille in 2011 and sold for £19 million (reported by the BBC) to PSG in 2013, and full-back Mathieu Debuchy, signed for £5.5m (again from Lille) in January 2013 and sold to Arsenal for £12 million in August 2014 (price quoted by the Express).
So what’s the problem?
The problem with this policy is that it does not consider the impact on the here and now for the club.
While Newcastle have been able to use the profit from player sales to beef up the bank balance - announcing, as reported by the Telegraph, a record profit of £18.7 million last season - the signings brought in to replace those leaving have not been at the same level.
How can this be remedied?
McClaren, Carr, and Charnley must find a middle ground between finding young talent for the future and players capable of turning around the club's fortunes in the present.
Cabaye is a proven game-changer and with previous ties with the club, it may well have been possible to lure him back to Tyneside. The fact that Newcastle did not attempt to sign him is confirmation that their long-term goals will not be sacrificed for the sake of the current squad.
What does this mean for the here and now?
It means that Newcastle could face a similar struggle to last year if the right players are not brought in.
Newcastle are yet to realise that signing players who may not fit their strict guidelines but can make an immediate impact is a positive move for the club. Top quality players with experience like Cabaye would benefit younger talent on and off the pitch while also pushing the North East side up the table in the process.
All of this together would surely build a momentum that helps the club grow in the long-term.
The decision not to sign Cabaye is proof that the club is determined to stick to their guns in order to achieve maximum profit with minimum expenditure.
It is a huge risk, but one that the club is seemingly willing to take.