Arsenal are reportedly planning a second bid for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye.
Newcastle have already dismissed a £10 million bid from north London. However, with Arsenal likely to double their first bid, it’s hard to see Newcastle being in a position to reject such a mammoth figure.
The French international has certainly had his head turned by Arsenal’s interest, especially now the Gunners have one foot in the Champions League group stages.
Newcastle’s classy performer reportedly refused to play in their 0-0 draw with West Ham United on Saturday following the £10 million bid made by the Gunners. It was the second time this week that Cabaye had pulled out of the squad.
Despite being in the travelling party for last Monday’s game at Manchester City, Cabaye decided not to take any part in the game and left the ground before the 4-0 defeat.
Cabaye has made 73 appearances for Newcastle since joining from Lille in June 2011 and has played a huge part in the club’s success in the Premier League.
His midfield brilliance was one of the catalysts behind Newcastle’s fantastic 2011/2012 season, where they finished fifth and only missed out on Champions League qualification by five points.
However, injures to Cabaye, amongst others, along with the loss of goalscoring sensation Demba Ba to Chelsea sent Newcastle on a downward spiral last term.
Looking back, they were perhaps a touch fortunate that the standard of the Premier League was so poor last season otherwise they could have been playing Championship football this season. Just five points separated them and the relegation zone.
It was no coincidence that when Cabaye was fit Newcastle’s performance levels shot up. He has the ability to control games from the heart of the midfield and possesses the tenacity to lift a crowd with some meaty challenges.
He’s been missed so far this campaign, too. The Toon were outclassed in every department in that 4-0 hammering in Manchester but, more worryingly, they looked very one dimensional at home to West Ham at the weekend.
If they lose Cabaye to Arsenal – which looks very likely – the 5/1 on the Toon to be relegated looks tasty value.