Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye has revealed the disappointment of his failed transfer to Arsenal this summer and claims that director of football Joe Kinnear is the only one that can fully explain what transpired. The France international was the subject of a reported bid of £10 million from the Gunners in August, which Newcastle claimed was “derisory.” There was little doubt that Cabaye was keen to make the switch and was even left out of Newcastle’s first game of the season due to then ongoing saga. He has now confirmed his desire to move to the Emirates Stadium.
“Was my failed transfer to Arsenal difficult to swallow? At first, yes,” he told Sky Sports. "But you have to quickly get focused again, because if you go on thinking about it you have a grudge against a lot of people and that is useless. I quickly forget about it and go back to work.
“The only person who can explain what happened is Joe Kinnear. If he is honest, he will tell it. Otherwise it will not get out of my mouth."
Arsenal were unwilling to meet Newcastle’s believed £20 million asking price for the 27-year-old and subsequently re-signed Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer. Currently that appears to have been a good outcome for the Gunners, with Flamini bringing a tenacity and organization to their midfield that has been missing for some time. Given the emergence of Aaron Ramsey this season and with Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere also competing for a central midfield berth, it is hard to imagine Arsene Wenger rekindling his interest in Cabaye come the January transfer window.
That situation also makes Alex Song’s return to Arsenal seem unlikely anytime soon. There are rather curious rumors in the Daily Star that the Barcelona man is “open” to the idea of moving back to the club he left in the summer of 2012. Song has not had the best of times at the Camp Nou, making just 17 La Liga starts last season -- many at center-back. Still, this season has begun more promisingly and he was lauded for his performance against Real Valladolid on Saturday in which he completed 100 percent of his passes.
Thus, the timing of the claims from unnamed Spanish sources appears odd. An explanation of mistranslation and a long-range version of the telephone game put forward by website Sport Witness may well hold the answer.
Arsenal’s shortage of numbers in defense, with just three established central defenders, has led to several targets being linked. One of the most prominent names put forward has been Adil Rami. The France international was recently suspended by Valencia after criticizing coach Miroslav Djukic and his teammates. An exit from the Spanish club was quickly seen as inevitable, with Arsenal among a host of clubs linked.
However, it now appears that Rami will be moving elsewhere in January. Spanish sports daily AS reports that Rami has met with Milan and has agreed to go on loan to the Italian giants in January with an option to be purchased at the end of the season for €7 million (£5.9m).
Arsenal could instead be lining up a younger option. According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners are keen to push forward with an £8 million deal for Feyenoord’s 21-year-old defender Bruno Martins Indi. Already a Netherlands international, the left-footer is primarily a center-back but has also operated on the left side of defense.
Former Arsenal midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst, now an assistant coach at Feyenoord, has spoken highly of Martins Indi’s ability, and claimed that the club will not stand in his way when a big foreign club comes calling.
“He is very good and strong,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “It is not for nothing he's a first-choice here and with the Dutch national team. He will make the move to a foreign club in the long term. When the time comes and he wants to leave, he will leave the club. We are very happy with him, but we know we cannot compete with the top European clubs.” Follow Jason Le Miere on Twitter