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Newcastle on track to land yet more French talent in Montpellier star

Like the well-trodden paths between Real Madrid and Barcelona’s stadia during a single La Liga season, Newcastle are set to take to the route they know the best during this January transfer window.

This time last year, the Magpies practically saved their season by stocking up on their duty-free items during a trip across the Channel and they seem to prefer that route once again as they look to solidify their run at the top six, with 40/1 the price that the Toon finish in the top four.

This time Joe Kinnear and co have earmarked Montpellier playmaker Remy Cabella as the man they want and it’s thought that a prepared bid will be made in the early part of the window.

Cabella, whose club are dangling one place and three points above the relegation zone, can play anywhere along the attacking midfield line but has predominantly been used behind the main striker by the former Ligue 1 champions.

In that position, the 23-year-old has shone, scoring a team-leading six times in league assignments and laying on three more scores for teammates.

Newcastle’s likely £14m raid on Montpellier looks even more likely to be successful after the French club picked Argentine playmaker Lucas Mugni as a new signing, probably to replace their outgoing creator.

Even the club’s president Laurent Nicollin admitted he is expecting to receive a bid from the Geordie club and with Manchester United reportedly sniffing around the player as well, Alan Pardew will be keen to strike a deal before a bigger fish swims along to swallow his dinner.

After two consecutive league defeats, the former Southampton boss’ side have slipped to five points off fifth spot and another run in the Europa League. Should their tilt at achieving that ambition be realised, they’ll need a far bigger squad to be able to adequately cope with the extra demand second time around.