Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Valbuena Opens Door to Magpies; Valbuena Could Be Open to Move

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Valbuena Opens Door to Magpies; Valbuena Could Be Open to Move

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner ? (0191) 201-6283 ?

MATHIEU Valbuena has alerted Newcastle United by casting doubt on his Marseille future/Marseille's qualification for next year's European Cup has automatically triggered a one-year extension to the France midfielder's contract. But he pointedly made clear that does not necessarily mean he will be with the club next season.

"My contract has been automatically prolonged for one season due to Cham-pions League qualification," he told L'Equipe. "But we will see what happens in the summer."

Arsenal and Newcastle have both shown an interest in the 28-year-old, who could either complement or replace Yohan Cabaye. The vice-captain has attracted the interest of Monaco.

The Principality club have won promotion to Ligue 1 next season and seem determined to match if not outdo Paris-Saint Germain in their spending - aided by the fact they do not have France's punishing tax regime to work within.

Their rivals are trying to change that through the courts and Monaco have not taken kindly to it, prompting the suggestion they will hand as little of their oil money as possible to them, even when it comes to buying French players.

Cabaye was marked out as the leader of the next Magpies team when manager Alan Pardew overlooked Jonas Gutierrez to hand him the armband when ususal captain Fabricio Coloccini was injured.

Should that absence become permanent, Pardew will want Cabaye at the head of a squad full of Frenchspeakers.

But in signing Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho, Monaco have already shown they are hard to resist.

Valbuena can play wide on the right as he sometimes does for his country, but was almost exclusively used "in the hole" by his club last season. Moussa Sissoko played the same role for the Magpies in the first half of the year, but many believe the powerful midfielder is more suited to a deeper position. …

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