Yohan Cabaye is returning to France after a three year absence. Cabaye has signed with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to a three-and-a-half year contract worth £19 million. The now-former Newcastle United midfielder arrived at the French capital around noon for his medical and to finalize the personal conditions of the transfer. He was reported to have turned down a previous offer by the club worth an estimated £14 million. The 28-year-old said he was ultimately won over by the ambitious project being built by Paris St-Germain and can not wait to help them reach their goals in France and Europe.
Yohan Cabaye began his career as a member of the Ligue 1 club, Lille, back in 2004. Cabaye made 191 regular season appearances for the French football club between 2004 and 2011, netting thirty-one goals during that time. Following Lille’s final game in the 2010-11 season, Cabaye announced that he would be departing for Newcastle United in England. Cabaye signed with the North East club for £4.3 million back in 2011. Yohan was said to have made the switch in order to test himself against the best in the world and playing in the Premier League afforded him that chance.
Cabaye made seventy-nine appearances with the English club during his three season stint. Yohan had his best season this past year, scoring seven goals and assisting on four in only nineteen starts. The midfielder has also played in twenty-six games for the French National team on four different occasions.
Back in August 2013, Yohan Cabaye went on strike and refused to play in a game for Newcastle after receiving a £10 millon offer to join Arsenal. Newcastle went on to finish in a 0-0 draw in the match. Cabaye would later apologize for his actions, and insisted that he was happy with the English Premier League team. The move back to France was pushed for by Cabaye, who told Newcastle manager Alan Pardew that he was keen to return home. His exit is a huge blow to Newcastle as they take on Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby on Saturday.
Yohan Cabaye signing with Paris Saint-Germain could not come at a better time for the French club. Currently, the team sits just three points ahead of Monaco for first place in Ligue 1. PSG President, Nasser Al Khelaifi, said the transfer is further evidence of the team’s ability to attract the very best in French and overseas players. Al Khelaifi, who heads Qatar Sports Investments, became the PSG majority shareholder in 2011. Since then, he has spent over £200 million acquiring players including Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani for £55 million last summer.
Prior to picking up Cabaye, PSG were rumored to be attracting Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic. Al Khelaifi recently spoke about the possible transaction and admitted that the difficulty of the move at this point in the season is the reason for its collapse. Roma finished second in Serie A, and are set to battle it out with Juventus for the title. That being the case, they did not want to lose one of their most important players midseason.
The PSG owner continues to bring in the top talent from around the world, though Al Khelaifi supposedly targeted Cabaye because of his French nationality. The owner has spoken about the importance of winning the French championship with French players. With Paris Saint-Germain signing Yohan Cabaye to this deal, the team have further proved why they are to be considered one of the most deadly competitors in Ligue 1.
By Benjamin Murray