NEWCASTLE United are refusing to get involved in a bidding war with Montpellier over the services of Remy Cabella.
The France winger remains one of the Magpies’ main summer targets as they look to add more creativity to their team.
Cabella has been at the top of a hitlist compiled by chief scout Graham Car and manager Alan Pardew since Yohan Cabaye was sold to Paris St Germain for £20million in January.
Newcastle had hoped to have the signing in place before the World Cup as they look to get their transfer business done early this summer.
Young Tenerife striker Ayoze Perez has already been confirmed as the first acquisition of the close season, while out-of-contract Sunderland midfielder Jack Colback is expected to be announced as a Newcastle player this week.
But any hopes of bringing in Cabella quickly have been dashed by Montpellier rejected their opening bid, as well as the 24-year-old’s call-up into the French World Cup squad.
Montpellier chairman Louis Nicollin expects the schemer’s price to rise, especially if he has a good tournament. United slapped in a eight million euros (£6.5m) offer for Cabella last month, but the French club – champions in 2011/12 – are demanding almost double that.
Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley is expected to return with an improved offer for Cabella, though any deal is now likely to be put on hold until after the World Cup.
Cabella had been on the standby list, but an injury to Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery meant he replaced him in Didier Deschamps’ squad.
“I’m happy (for Cabella’s call-up), because he’s a great kid,” Nicollin said. “This shows the quality of our academy. It is highly probable that I’ll go see all the national team’s games.
“I’m happy I didn’t sell him €8m to Newcastle.”
Newcastle have other options if they are unable to strike a deal with Nicollin.
Ajax midfielder Siem de Jong is a long-term target, and the Dutchman admitted last week that there had been contact between Newcastle and his agent.
And Tom Ince continues to be linked with the Magpies. The England Under-21 international was watched by the club last year, but they decided against following up any interest in the winger given they had Jonas Gutierez, Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa, Sammy Ameobi and Gabriel Obertan on their books.
However, with Newcastle looking to offload all of those bar Ameobi, the Magpies do need more width and it remains to be seen whether they consider Ince, who is a free agent after his Blackpool contract expired.
Ince spent the second half of last season at Crystal Palace, but struggled to nail down a regular starting spot. He was reported to have turned down a move to Inter Milan last week.