Rumors are intensifying regarding Florian Thauvin and a transfer to Newcastle United. The club have been known admirers of the the player who made his reputation at Bastia but has not completely lived up to the hype following his move to Marseille. The latest reports have Rémy Cabella moving the other way on a year-long loan with option to buy although that particular part of the deal seems to be the only part that is not settled just yet.
If the deal does get finalized, it won't be a surprise as Newcastle pursued Thauvin prior to his move to Marseille and have continued interest since losing out two years ago. There is little doubt as to the player's talent although he has managed to turn fans off to him with uneven performances and reports of bust-ups within the locker room at L'oM. Comparisons to Hatem Ben Arfa are inevitable while he has drawn comparisons to former Newcastle star Laurent Robert as well. He's clearly a talented player with a lot of upside potential if he can keep his head right. Some suppose that a move to England may be able to do that for him.
The bigger question in this rumor is Rémy Cabella's possible involvement. It seems odd that Steve McClaren's systematic examination of the senior squad would miss out on a player who has a year of Premier League under his belt and who addresses a direct and present need in the squad. He was Newcastle's third preference following failed attempts to bring Thauvin and Clement Grenier to St. James' Park, but surely the club can't be that out of love with a Graham Carr player this quickly?
McClaren has been adamant about making sure that the players brought in are "the right ones". If sending Cabella away from the club does turn out to be a thing, it gives one pause to wonder if Cabella was brought in "just because". It would certainly explain how he failed to get a foothold under Alan Pardew if this was the case. It would also be counter to everything we think we know about Mike Ashley's player acquisition policy.