NEWCASTLE UNITED boss Alan Pardew admits Yohan Cabaye’s departure will deal the club a “psychological blow”.
Cabaye was set to undergo a medical with Paris Saint-Germain today after the two clubs last night agreed a fee.
PSG upped their offer after having a £14m bid for the midfielder rejected by Newcastle.
Reports in France claim the fee is £19m, though Newcastle were looking for a significantly higher offer for the 28-year-old.
Cabaye – who will be eligible to play in the Champions League for PSG – is expected to be unveiled at the Parc des Princes on Friday.
The France international’s imminent departure comes almost three years after striker Andy Carroll left the club after Liverpool had a £35m bid accepted.
That experience scarred Pardew, who is focused on preparing his team for tonight’s game against Norwich City at Carrow Road, and Saturday’s Tyne-Wear derby.
And he admits he and his team face a testing few days on and off the field.
Speaking before the fee was agreed, Pardew said: “I’ve got a thick skin. I survived the Andy Carroll one, which I think is worse because of the situation we were in.
“We certainly didn’t have 36 points. That was one of my best periods at the club ... losing him and getting over the line. The psychological blow was massive.
“Losing Yohan would be a psychological blow, but not as big as that one.”
Cabaye, however, has been an increasingly influential player this season after putting behind him the events of last August, when he attempted to force through a move to Arsenal.
And Newcastle – who are interested in Montpellier’s Remy Cabella and Olympique Lyonnais’ Clement Grenier – must now try to replace him before Friday night’s transfer deadline.
Pardew said: “From the owner down to my youth team coach, no one on the technical side wants Yohan to leave. Why would we?
“If you take him out of the team, it makes us vulnerable. We’d need to bring in someone, for sure. You can’t lose a player of that quality.”
Grenier last night distanced himself from a move to Newcastle, while Montpellier are adamant that Cabella won’t leave the club until the summer.
Meanwhile, teenage striker Adam Armstrong is in the Newcastle squad for tonight’s game.
Armstrong has been prolific this season for the club’s Under-18s and Under-21s. And Pardew, who is without the injured Papiss Cisse, has rewarded the 17-year-old with a first-team call-up.
Mathieu Debuchy is set to return tonight, having completed a three-match ban for his sending off at West Brom on New Year’s Day.