Despite having the bitter words of his ex-employer ringing in his ears, Remy Cabella is waxing lyrical about his switch to Newcastle United before a ball has been kicked.
Montpellier owner Louis Nicollin has criticised the 24-year-old’s decision to move to Tyneside and admitted he "wasn’t happy" about the midfielder's choice of club.
But if his interview with Anthony Marshall on the Magpies’ official website is anything to go by, the resentful noises coming out of the Stade de la Mosson boardroom have failed to dampen the player’s enthusiasm:
It is a magnificent place.
I have seen lots of photographs of the supporters and the black and white strip, but you cannot see the ambience in photos and that is something I am really looking forward to experiencing.
I wanted to join a great English club and that is why I have arrived here. I'm looking forward to pulling on the shirt and playing in this magnificent stadium, and I will give this club my maximum.
I have heard nothing but good things about Newcastle United from everyone I spoke to.
Everyone, that is, except Nicollin.
The long-serving supremo of MHSC is renowned for speaking his mind, and he famously referred to AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani as "Kojak" on Canal+ in 2012, as reported by Football Italia at the time.
The jibe was in relation to a bid for Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa—a defender he sold to Newcastle just six months later—and since then the 71-year-old has been nothing but negative when it comes to the Toon.
When United first moved to land Cabella back in January, Nicollin replied with a typically ill-judged put-down, insisting the attacking midfielder would find life boring in the North-East.
And now that the international has put pen-to-paper on a six-year deal at St. James’ Park, his inherent aversion to the Geordies has reared its ugly head once more.
As revealed by The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards, Nicollin said:
Personally, I would not go to Newcastle. But hey, I’ll see him when he plays against a club in London!
But Cabella’s rhetoric flies in the face of his former employer, and an eagerness to understand his new surroundings, as well as make an impact has gone down well with supporters ahead of the new campaign.
As revealed by the Daily Star’s Ian Murtagh, former left-back John Beresford has already likened the playmaker to Magpies favourite David Ginola—a compliment not to be taken lightly.
And if Cabella enjoys half the popularity Ginola did during his spell with United in the 1990s, his decision to join will be fully justified, and it will leave Nicollin red-faced once more.