The weekend brought news from France that Marseille had ‘triggered’ a contract clause making the move of Remy Cabella permanent.
This was picked up by the English media and simply repeated.
It was just a recycling of old news really, as the move had been confirmed some months ago.
The contract clause, similar to the ones that saw moves for both Davide Santon and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa become permanent, meant a sale would happen if 12 games were played during the loan spell.
Remy Cabella passed that particular milestone by autumn 2015 but with the permanent transfer to then go through at the end of the loan spell in summer 2016.
What’s amusing, is that the reports at the weekend made out as if it was Marseille’s choice to take on Cabella long-term. the media referring to ‘Marseille trigger Remy Cabella release clause’.
Marseille didn’t trigger the clause, well apart from letting him play 12 matches that is, though they were hardly going to no play him after committing to a full season’s worth of wages on loan.
The fact is that Marseille were in a dire financial position last summer, especially with no Champions League football, and had been forced into selling three of their bets players to bring in £40m – Imbula, Payet and Thauvin (cough cough) sacrificed.
Even worse for the Ligue 1 club, star players Ayew and Gignac left for nothing, as they had come to the end of their contracts and Marseille couldn’t afford to offer them the level of wages they could get elsewhere.
Minimal spending of around £10m brought in half a dozen cheap and cheerful players to try and plug the gaps left by losing their star players but it was obvious they were going to struggle.
The fans were in uproar and that is where in desperation, Marseille brought in Remy Cabella on loan with a view to a permanent deal, as a sop to the fans. Cabella still having a decent profile in France despite his poor single season at Newcastle.
The season has been a disaster and it was only recently that Marseille confirmed they were safe from relegation.
With the financial position getting ever worse, they were forced to rely on further loan deals for Thauvin and Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) to try and ensure survival, but they have been about as successful as Remy Cabella in giving Marseille a lift.
As Marseille battled against relegation, Remy Cabella was dropped from the side over the last month.
Considering Cabella’s lack of success with his loan club and the level of wages they will have had to commit to, it is very hard to imagine thar Marseille would be now going through with a premanent deal for the Newcastle midfielder, if they had a choice.
A massive stroke of luck for Newcastle United/Mike Ashley that they aren’t going to be stuck with Remy Cabella next season in what is almost certain to be the Championship AND the fact they will recoup some £6m of the original transfer fee (it was reported at the time as anything between £8m and £12m).
However, if the drop happens and Mike Ashley does what he did the last time Newcastle were relegated (sold everybody he had an offer for and gave Chris Hughton not a penny for replacements), then it could be grim times ahead.
It would be sickening to see the small group of talented Newcastle players leave, whilst Newcastle fans are left to count the cost of Ashley’s disastrous transfer policy.
Andros Townsend and others will have no shortage of offers, whilst we are left with the likes of Riviere, Gouffran, Coloccini, Thauvin, Saivet, Cisse, de Jong and Haidara, none of who will there will be a hope of shifting.