Yohan Cabaye

It looks like Manchester United keep getting turned down in their chase after a quality central midfielder, and simply move on to the next one. Next on the list? Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle.

According to the Daily Mirror, United seem to be quite prepared for a final rejection from Barcelona regarding Cesc Fabregas, making it the second Barcelona midfielder the Red Devils fail to sign this offseason, moving them a bit closer to home, and to Newcastle’s excellent French international, who enjoyed a brilliant debut season with the team and less successful second year, with a two-month injury hurting him along the way.

Cabaye is known for his excellent vision, especially when it comes to his accuracy on long balls, similar to that of Xabi Alonso, at least in style, and has a very good long range shooting ability. He was one of the main reasons Alan Pardew’s team made it into the Europa League two seasons ago, and under his returning influence helped Newcastle avoid relegation in 2013, scoring six goals in 26 league matches.

However, the long balls tactics continuously deployed by Newcastle don’t seem to agree with his best attributes, and Cabaye, like most technically gifted players, needs the ball a lot more on the ground, without the option of skipping the midfield entirely, which has been part of Newcastle’s DNA too often last season.

United do a better job of blending styles and offensive philosophies, and although Cabaye’s speed and defensive work rate isn’t of the highest quality all the time, he should find himself much more useful with more attacking options to operate, and a much better defensive unit playing behind him.

The question is how Newcastle react: They’re already on the verge of losing their number one striker, Papiss Cisse, due to the Wonga controversy, and seeing another leading player in Cabaye walk away might not be an option they’re willing to consider, even if it will help the club’s bank account with around £15 million.

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