A week is a long time in football, especially when you’ve just made a stellar signing like Mesut Ozil. It is easy to forget that Arsenal were originally going after another midfielder- Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye.
A bid of £10 million was originally made to Newcastle which probably rubbed the Magpies hierarchy up the wrong way. In this market, surely Cabaye is worth more money? Despite having a poor season last campaign, he has more than shown us what he is capable of in both his first season in the North East and in many games he has played at international level for France.
Mike Ashley is known to be a shrewd man in the transfer market and apparently put into place a cunning plan last week when news spread of Arsenal’s courting of Cabaye. Understandably, the Frenchman was tempted to join Arsenal, so much so that he has played just 25 minutes of football for Newcastle this season, much to the distain of boss Alan Pardew who blasted Arsenal for their timing. But Newcastle’s owner apparently played a recording of Arsenal’s negotiators saying he would have been a reserve for him- the actual words were ’25 million is a lot for a reserve’ according to journalist James Pearce!
I’m told Mike Ashley let Cabaye listen to phone negotiations last week + he heard Arsenal say: “25 million a lot for a reserve” #moodchanger
— James Pearce (@Pearcesport) September 2, 2013
All of a sudden Newcastle was appealing to Cabaye again. Very shrewd Ashley.