The 2011-12 season was a wonderful one for Newcastle United and Yohan Cabaye as the club surprisingly finished fifth in the table. The Frenchman, in particular, was a standout player. The 2012-13 campaign, though, didn't go nearly as smooth for the club nor the player as the Magpies were stuck in a battle against relegation while Cabaye's form dipped massively in the earlier parts of the season. In addition, there have been constant reports of discord in the dressing room between the club's plethora of French players and non-French speaking ones. Because of this all, perhaps it's not surprising that Cabaye appears interested in a move away from Tyneside.
The French midfielder is currently on national duty and in an interview with French outlet Canal+, he expressed that he would "let my agents work for me" in regards to any possible transfers. He further elaborated on his situation with this:
"For the moment I am at Newcastle, you never know what happens in football. I am here at the moment, the season is not finished as I have still two matches [for France]. After that I'm going on holiday and it can't come soon enough to clear my head of the difficult season we have just had, and I let my agents work for me. I have had no direct contact with anyone, maybe my agents are currently in the know. As for me, I am here, listening. I like England as well. I will need to look at the situation, but you never know."
When specifically asked if he would be interested in a Manchester United move, the France international responded coyly this way:
"I like what they do, the boss [Sir Alex Ferguson] has left, but they have appointed a very good successor [David Moyes], and he did some very good things with Everton. They are always well placed amongst the big clubs, yes for sure it could be an interesting challenge but like I said for the moment, there is nothing concrete and I am still at Newcastle."
There's no doubt that the midfield Moyes inherits needs a makeover. It pretty much contains one established talent in Michael Carrick, a promising young midfielder in Tom Cleverley, and then a few others that can't be relied upon to contribute over the entirety of a season. Early indications are that United will be spending heavily this summer and judging by the numerous midfielders they're being linked to, the engine room is a priority.
So, would Cabaye be a good buy for United? A year-and-a-half ago, when United were limited in their transfer budget and they were being overrun by Cabaye and Cheick Tiote in a 0-3 defeat by Newcastle, I probably would have been more enthusiastic by the possibility. The Frenchman is undoubtedly a good player and as the United squad stands now, he would improve the midfield. However, the club is now in a healthier financial situation than they were and they appear willing to spend money for high quality midfielders. I'd rather inquire about talents like Thiago Alcantara, Marouane Fellaini, and Kevin Strooman for now and see how that goes. If it gets deeper into the summer transfer window and the club are still in need of a midfielder, perhaps they can inquire about Cabaye. At 27-years-old, and after coming off a season where his form was inconsistent, United shouldn't be willing to pay much for him. And in terms of midfield transfer options, the Frenchman should be a 'plan B', but only if the price is right. Cabaye, at best, would only be a decent stopgap to the current midfield problems.