Lille star’s still keen on Newcastle United

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MATHIEU Debuchy hasn’t given up hope of securing a move to Newcastle United.

The Magpies tried and failed to sign the right-back in the summer transfer window. Newcastle offered around £5million for Debuchy, but Lille chairman Michel Seudoux put a price tag of £7m on the France international.

And an agreement couldn’t be reached amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

However, the 27-year-old, a close friend of Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye, will again be the subject of interest in January.

And Debuchy, despite his frustration that a deal couldn’t be reached in the last transfer window, is understood to still be keen to seal a move to Tyneside.

Debuchy was sold on the club after glowing reports from Cabaye, who joined Newcastle last year after winning the French double with Lille.

The club has other potential targets in mind, and it remains to be seen whether another bid is lodged.

A rash of injuries to defenders in the opening weeks of the season has underlined the need for reinforcements.

Fabricio Coloccini, Danny Simpson and James Perch are in the treatment room, and Ryan Taylor is out for several months.

Simpson’s future appears interlinked with the club’s attempts to sign a right-back. The 25-year-old – who suffered a hamstring injury earlier this month – is now in the last year of his deal.

And it is unclear whether the contract talks which were shelved earlier this year will be restarted, with the two parties having been some way apart in negotiations.

Simpson is expected to be sidelined for several more weeks, and Vurnon Anita will fill in at right-back against Everton at Goodison Park on Monday.

Ironically, Debuchy himself is also injured, having suffered an ankle problem playing for France last month.

However, he at least can look forward to Champions League football when he returns to fitness, with Lille having progressed into the group stage.

Newcastle are understood to have watched Groningen defender Virgil van Dijk, 21, this season.

The Magpies are likely to again be in the market for a central defender after failing to sign Douglas from Twente in the summer, and then-Watford player Adrian Mariappa before that in January.

Meanwhile, Dutchman Vurnon Anita is expecting a difficult evening when Newcastle visit Everton on Monday, particularly as he knows two of the men who helped to secure an opening day victory over Manchester United.

He said: “I saw the highlights and they were very aggressive. They played very well, so we must be prepared.

“I know two players who play there. I played with Steven Pienaar at Ajax – he was there when I made my debut – and Johnny Heitinga, also from Ajax and the national team. They are very good players, so I know they have a good team and a very strong team. we must be prepared.”

Newcastle have concerns over goalkeeper Tim Krul (elbow) and skipper Fabricio Coloccini (hamstring).

Veteran Steve Harper is standing by to replace Krul, while Mike Williamson is likely to deputise if Coloccini does not make Monday’s game.