The Magpies' new director of football is confident that the club's influential French midfielder will stay on Tyneside this summer despite reported interest from MonacoNewcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye will still be at the club at the start of the upcoming season according to new director of football Joe Kinnear.
The France international has been linked with a return to his homeland, with financial behemoth Monaco reported to be extremely interested in signing him.
Cabaye has expressed an interest in joining the Ligue 2 champions, but Kinnear is adamant the Frenchman is staying at St James' Park.
"He will stay," Kinnear firmly told the Newcastle Chronicle. "We’ve got him under contract – and we want to keep all of our top players here. We don’t feel we have to sell our top stars.
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"We will have to move them on. We can’t have mediocre players at Newcastle United. But we won’t be selling our best players."
Kinnear's statement will no doubt provide manager Alan Pardew with a boost ahead of the new season and the 66-year-old director of football says Pardew is "delighted" to be working with him.
"Before I had a meeting with [owner] Mike [Ashley], [managing director] Derek [Llambias] said he’s informed Alan, and Alan said 'Great news – I’m delighted with that. At last I’ve got somebody who’s a football guy'. Derek told me he’s had a long talk with Alan, and explained that I’m coming in as director of football.
"He [Llambias] is going to go on the finance side and anything to do with football is coming my side.
"I am going to be delighted to be working with Alan. I saw Alan as a player – he was a heck of a player – and we bumped into each other a couple of times when he was West Ham manager.
"We always bump into each other at the Manager of the Year awards. Last year I was at the awards when Alan won it. I said 'congratulations, but you have to get two more to catch me!'
"We are very open-minded and good with each other. I have the utmost respect for him and I cannot see any problems between the two of us. I am not the type of guy who causes problems for the sake of it. I want the best for all of us."