Lee Ryder of The Chronicle and Miles Starforth of The Shields-Gazette are both reporting that Yohan Cabaye was selected for Saturday's home match against West Ham, but declined to play. It's the first instance of reporting since Cabaye wasn't featured last Monday against Manchester City that suggests that one side or the other are the impetus behind his absences. Cabaye has been said to have had "his head turned" by Arsenal's bid for him last week, and now that Manchester United have joined the bidding (with Paris St-Germain apparently no longer taking part), it appears based on these reports that he is trying to force a move to either one.
Both Ryder and Starforth are reliable reporters, and the fact that this comes from more than one source makes it a story to pay attention to. However, the club have a history of vilifying want-away players or players that they are in the process of selling. When Andy Carroll left Newcastle in January 2011, they were all to willing to let the fanbase believe that he had demanded to be let go, when in fact the opposite was true. Here we have yet another example of the "team vs. regime" battle that is now raging in the minds of supporters, and the loser will be the club as a whole. Given the teams "sell before buying" philosophy, it looks like there won't be much time left at all to get any new players across the line when this seemingly inevitable transaction finally takes place.
Newcastle next play Morecambe in League Cup play on 28 August.