MATHIEU Debuchy has laughed off reports linking him with Monaco – and says he is aiming to help Newcastle challenge at the top of the Premier League again, writes Ross Gregory.
Debuchy still hasn’t finished a long season, with international games for France against Uruguay and Brazil to come this week.
And while he admits he is looking forward to a rest after a physical second half of the campaign helping Newcastle to avoid relegation, the right-back already has one eye on pre-season with the Magpies.
Reports in France had linked Debuchy with money-bags Monaco, who paid Atletico Madrid £51m for Radamel Falcao last week as they look to turn themselves into a European super-power again.
But Debuchy laughed: “I saw it, but with Monaco, there are new names of players every day. It makes me smile.”
Debuchy joined Newcastle in January from Lille for £6m, and was quickly joined by countrymen Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Moussa Sissoko as the Magpies splashed out to bolster their squad.
And despite a battle against relegation which was only averted with a win over QPR in the penultimate game of the season, Debuchy says he has enjoyed life in England – and believes there is more to come from the Magpies.
“I discovered another championship with things that I like a lot: the atmosphere, the intensity of matches,” said the 27-year-old, who played 14 games for the Magpies.
“Mentally, it takes the same energy, but the game is a little different. Last winter, there were many arrivals all of a sudden, it was difficult to work in such a short time.
“But with the arrival of pre-season, we will be able to prepare well and play at the top of the table (next season).”
Debuchy and pal Yohan Cabaye are the only two of Newcastle’s French contingent in Les Bleus’ squad for their South American tour, with games against Uruguay tonight and Brazil on Sunday.