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Newcastle close to signing French playmaker?

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Reports out of France suggest Newcastle United are close to finalizing a deal for Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella.

The transfer market hasn't look pretty for Newcastle United, but there is news today that the club is close to finalizing a deal for Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella to the tune of roughly £7 million. Newcastle attempted to bring in Cabella after the sale of Yohan Cabaye to PSG, but as we all know they went belly up in the transfer market under Joe Kinnear.

via The Chronicle:

Highly respected sports magazine L’Equipe have today reported that Newcastle and Montpellier have "almost agreed" a fee of around £7million for the talented 24-year-old playmaker.

The Toon desperately need to re-stock the squad, especially with attacking players, as there is really only one striker at the club in injured Papiss Cisse. Adding in a midfielder like Cabella, who can also play out wide, should help in the lack of creative playmaking in the Newcastle midfield.

Ever since the loss of Cabaye, the team has struggled on the attack.

Alan Pardew and Newcastle have said they want to lock up a few signings before the start of the World Cup, and bringing in someone like Cabella would be a significant move in the right direction.

Update 5/30: New reports out of France indicate that Montpellier have rejected Newcastle's bid and are holding out for more money. It's noted that Montpellier is looking for around £12 million for Cabella.

Update 5/31: Some more details out of France have emerged on the Cabella saga. It appears a deal was all but finalized for a free of 8 million euro, to the point that Cabella was getting ready to board a plane to fly to Tyneside and workout a contract with Newcastle.

At the last minute, Louis Nicollin pulled the offer and demanded 15 million euros for Cabella and nuked the deal. It was reported that Newcastle stated the 8 million euro was a "take it or leave it" offer and they would not be making another bid. This strikes me as classic haggling by Montpellier to try to squeeze another million or so out of an asset they're sure to lose in the summer.