Yohan Cabaye's highly speculated return to Ligue 1 could come to fruition as early as this month after it was revealed that Paris Saint-Germain have taken a major step in signing Newcastle United's talisman.
Sky Sports News reports that a deal has been agreed "in principle" for the 28-year-old to move back to his native land:
Sky sources: Paris St Germain agree deal in principle with Newcastle for Yohan Cabaye #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 27, 2014
Sky sources: Fee for Cabaye significantly higher than initial £14m bid #SSN— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 27, 2014
With four days left in the January transfer window, it's positive news for Ligue 1 leaders PSG, who would now appear to have time on their hands in concluding a deal.
BBC Sport's Ben Smith says that a medical is the only formality that needs to be completed before the former Lille star seals his switch to Parc des Princes:
Cabaye will fly to Paris tomorrow for medical and will now obviously not play for Newcastle against Norwich tomorrow— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) January 27, 2014
Cabaye has been essential for the Magpies this term, scoring seven goals and adding three assists in 17 Premier League starts, per Transfermarkt.
That being said, an air of doubt has hung around his name ever since the midfielder came close to a St James' Park exit over the summer, with Arsenal supposedly his destination on that occasion.
The Press Association, via The Guardian, reported in September that Cabaye was apologetic to the Newcastle faithful for the disturbance his near-departure caused, saying at the time, "If the fans were – or still are – mad at me for what happened then I understand and I apologise to them."
He has since conducted himself admirably, helping propel Newcastle into European contention.
However, it seems that PSG's interest in the French international is so strong that the financial benefits of a sale have proven sufficient for Mike Ashley's side to sell.
Alan Pardew will be extremely disappointed to see the playmaker leave, Cabaye having been the glue that has held his engine room together in recent months, if not since arriving in 2011.
ESPN's Jonathan Joseph says that, despite some claims, Cabaye is not a replacement for Blaise Matuidi, whose contract runs out at the end of the season:
Cabaye's arrival will fill void left by Rabiot injury, enabling greater squad rotation. He will not arrive as replacement for Matuidi. #PSG— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) January 27, 2014
PSG will have the benefit of being able to use their latest acquisition in Champions League competition if a deal goes through, whereas Newcastle may now have to scavenge in order to find a shortstop solution in central midfield.