Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cab for Cabaye?

Interesting news from France, where Lille coach Rudi Garcia has revealed that Yohan Cabaye is set to join us. The midfielder has been instrumental in what has been a memorable season for the club, who claimed the league and cup double ahead of the more feted likes of Lyon and Marseille. The price tag is reported to be £4.3m - not bad for a full French international. Of course, the move for a defensively-minded midfielder would raise serious questions about Mr T's future at the club - might we be about to cash in on the Ivorian, on the strength of his superb first campaign in English football?

Whether Mr T stays on Tyneside or not, he's unlikely to find himself lining up alongside compatriot Gervinho. The striker, currently a team-mate of Cabaye, is a wanted man across Europe, but Garcia has declared that he won't be sold. Meanwhile, another forward with whom we've been linked, Blackburn's youthful livewire Junior Hoilett, also won't be leaving his current employers without a fight. (Incidentally, on the subject of strikers, it's hard to believe that Giuseppe Rossi, who had an undistinguished loan spell with us, might now be moving to the newly crowned European Cup holders for a staggering £40m...)

In other news, Sebastien Larsson is among a clutch of out-of-contract players released by relegated Birmingham, and I wouldn't be surprised if we make an approach for the unattached midfielder shortly. As well as new recruits, we've also moved to secure the long-term services of one of our brightest youth prospects, Shane Ferguson, who's been handed a five-year deal. (Credit to the BBC picture researcher for managing to find a phenomenally unflattering photo of the lad...)

Finally, commiserations to Lee Clark and Terry Mac's Huddersfield, whose third-placed finish counted for nowt as they were beaten in the League One play-off final by yo-yo entertainers Peterborough. Here's hoping Clarkie's side make it up to the Championship next season.

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