Newcastle' director of football Joe Kinnear says Yohan Cabaye wanted to leave club

Joe Kinnear: Says Newcastle did not want to sell Yohan Cabaye

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Newcastle's director of football Joe Kinnear insists the club only sold Yohan Cabaye to Paris St-Germain because he was desperate to leave.

The France international midfielder penned a three-and-a-half-year contract at the Parc des Princes in a deal reportedly to be worth £20m earlier in the week.

And Kinnear has once again become the target of fans' fury after the club sold Cabaye, arguably manager Alan Pardew's best player, to the big-spending Ligue 1 outfit and failed to replace him before Friday night's transfer deadline.

"We didn't want to sell him, make no bones about that, but Yohan made it very clear to us that the opportunity of playing Champions League football and being part of the sporting project at PSG was something he wanted."

Joe Kinnear

But writing in his programme notes ahead of Saturday's derby clash with Sunderland, Kinnear said: "Of course it is disappointing that Yohan Cabaye has moved on after two and a half seasons at St James' Park.

"We didn't want to sell him, make no bones about that, but Yohan made it very clear to us that the opportunity of playing Champions League football and being part of the sporting project at PSG was something he wanted.

"On that basis, we felt that if we received an acceptable bid for him, then it was the right decision for the club to do business.

"Yohan benefitted hugely from his time with us. He flourished as a player and his move to PSG comes as a result of the performances he put in during his time at the club.

"But for us, now is the time to look forward, not back. We have a number of highly talented midfielders within our ranks."

Huge blow

Meanwhile, Mathieu Debuchy admits the sale of the playmaker is a huge blow for the club.

And although full-back Debucy feels his friend's departure has left a hole in Magpies attacking line, Alan Pardew still has the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran, Sylvain Marveaux and Hatem Ben Arfa to fill the No 10 role.

"He will be a miss for the team," Debuchy told the Daily Mail.

"He was an extraordinary player and we were friends but we have other talented players.

"He will miss the Newcastle supporters, I know that."

Debuchy hopes to be reunited with his former team-mate Cabaye at the World Cup in Brazil where he is currently keeping Arsenal's Bacary Sagna out of Didier Deschamps' starting XI.

"It would be wonderful but nothing is certain," he said.

"I will do everything I can to be there but Sagna is a fantastic player. The most important thing is France has a good World Cup."