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Newcastle boss Alan Pardew desperate to hold onto Yohan Cabaye

Updated: Thursday, 19 Dec 2013 15:49 | Comments

Alan Pardew is doing all he can to hold onto Yohan Cabaye
Alan Pardew is doing all he can to hold onto Yohan Cabaye

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will head into the January transfer window hopeful of hanging on to star midfielder Yohan Cabaye as potential purchasers circle once again.

The 27-year-old France international has returned to producing somewhere near his best form since a proposed summer switch to Arsenal fell through, and has been a central figure in the Magpies' encouraging start to the Barclays Premier League campaign.

However, his future on Tyneside is likely to be raised once again next month with Liverpool and Paris St Germain having already been linked with moves for the former Lille schemer.

Pardew knows how vulnerable he is to approaches from clubs with far bigger budgets having had to swallow Andy Carroll's £35million departure to Anfield in January 2011 just weeks after his own arrival at St James' Park, but he is hopeful that owner Mike Ashley will not be looking to cash in on Cabaye this time around.

He said: "I am pretty confident that my owner and the club are in a great financial position. I would be a lot more nervous if we weren't.

"He's a great player, there are always going to be big clubs sniffing around him. We are fortunate to have him, we are enjoying him while he is here and long may that continue."

Cabaye joined the Magpies for a bargain £4.3million in July 2011, but his performances since have seen the club place a valuation on him of approaching five times that, and certainly far in excess of the £10million the Gunners are understood to have offered during the close-season.

However, the Frenchman's importance to Newcastle was underlined last Saturday when he sat out the 1-1 draw with Southampton through suspension with Pardew later admitting he could have made the difference, and he will go straight back into the team at Crystal Palace this weekend.

The Magpies, of course, were major players in the last January transfer window as they swooped for Mathieu Debuchy, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Moussa Sissoko and Yoan Gouffran in an ultimately successful - if only just - bid to avoid relegation.

This time around, Pardew believes they can afford to be more strategic, although targets have been identified and preparatory calls are being made.

He said: "It would be foolish not to have targets, so there are a few people we are looking at, making a few phone calls just to see if they are staying until the summer or what their views may be.

"Those are the sort of calls we are making. If we think there's an opportunity arisen - and there can be in January at times - then we will grasp it; if not, we won't.

"We have got a good team, we have got good back-up. We are stronger than we were two years ago, when we finished fifth, in terms of depth.

"Whether the first XI can achieve the same results throughout the season, we will have to wait and see, but the signs are good and the players are playing terrifically well."

Pardew has been credited with an interest in signing Manchester United midfielder Wilfried Zaha, a player who had been in the club's sights before he moved to Old Trafford, on loan, but the 52-year-old was playing with a straight bat when asked about him.

He said: "He's a Manchester United player, as far as I am concerned, but he is a player I know well because obviously he played for my old team, Palace, and he was absolutely phenomenal when they were promoted and got the big move to United.

"Unfortunately, that career has stalled a little bit, but that's a growing process as well. I know he has done very well at Manchester United in the background and maybe he will get an opportunity there."

However, Pardew did play down speculation that central defender Steven Taylor, who has found himself out of the matchday squad since his return from injury, could be allowed to make a temporary move away from St James'.

He said: "We have got so many games coming up, I can't see me wanting to loan a centre-half. I don't see the logic in that, so at the moment, that's a 'no'."

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