As the Premier League’s off-season approaches mid-June the transfer grapevine steadily starts to become ripe with gossip once again with Arsenal and Manchester United setting the Tuesday agenda with their reputed targets.
Starting with United their new manager David Moyes has made strengthening the centre of midfield a top priority and is expected to test Newcastle’s resolve to hold on to France star Yohan Cabaye.
Moyes is short of options in the Old Trafford engine room with just Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley to choose from having lost Paul Scholes to retirement and informed Anderson he free to leave the club should there be a suitable offer.
The 50-year-old would like a creative player to compliment Carrick and views Cabaye as the ideal foil for the England international as he begins to put his own stamp on the Premier League title winning side built by predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson.
Although Moyes doesn’t officially begin work until July 1st he is already fully involved in the summer recruitment process and it’s believed he will look to prise Cabaye away from the north East by matching his £20 million price tag.
And his hand was certainly strengthened after the 27-year-old admitted he would consider leaving Newcastle in a recent interview with Canal+ while on international duty.
Cabaye also welcomed the link with United and when asked if a switch to the Theatre of Dreams appealed the Frenchman cryptically said he would: “let my agents work for me”.
The former Lille playmaker was a revelation in his first season at St James’ Park after signing for £4.5m as he helped the Magpies to 5th place finish, but struggled with injury and a dramatic loss of form last term as Alan Pardew’s men slipped down the table.
Arsenal are also in the hunt for a player with Newcastle connections with current Chelsea forward Demba Ba floating between their crosshairs.
The Senegalese international only arrived at Stamford Bridge from Tyneside in January following a £7m move but is already looking surplus to requirements after struggling to hit the same heights as he did for the Magpies, despite notching three goals in his first four matches.
Recently appointed boss Jose Mourinho is keen to freshen up the Blues attack with a string of big money signings and the potential influx of new strikers could force Ba out of west London after just six-months.
Waiting in the wings to snap him up is Gunners chief Arsene Wenger, who is reportedly weighing up a £9m bid for a player he tried to sign before Chelsea secured his signature.
Wenger is desperate to land a new forward after Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, both of whom suffered underwhelming first seasons at the Emirates Stadium, fail to shine and the 63-year-old Frenchman believes Ba possesses the attributes to function as his attacking spearhead
The ex-West Ham striker is also a proven goalscorer at the highest level in England and Germany and that appeals to Wenger as he bids to end Arsenal’s eight-year trophy drought in the coming season.