Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has laughed off claims that midfielder Yohan Cabaye could be sold.
The 26-year-old playmaker is the latest in a long line of Newcastle players linked with summer moves, with Barcelona reportedly ready to bid 8 million pounds for the France international.
However, Pardew said the club is prepared to fend off offers for their top players, unless it is one the club could not refuse.
Pardew told reporters: “The interest is purely speculative. We have had no contact and certainly no offer, and obviously we wouldn’t even consider an offer anywhere near that region.
“It’s flattering to us and to Cabaye to be linked with Barcelona. I probably leaked it (the rumour) myself,” he joked.
The 50-year-old manager has admitted that the club will try to maximise any profit they get from player transfers, just as they did with the 35 million pounds sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool, but are adamant that they will not be doing business unless they receive an offer they cannot refuse.
Pardew said: “I really don’t think as the manager you can beat yourself up about it because we are what we are, we can’t compete with those really big guns.
“If they come and they want to pay – and it’s going to be very, very expensive for someone like him (Cabaye). Trust me, he will be inflated – then we have to then go to Plan B, which is to get a replacement.”
Pardew also commented on the situation regarding Demba Ba, who will be heading off with Senegal to the African Nations Cup later in the year, with speculation regarding his future and contract neogtiations rife, despite indicating he is happy on the Tyneside.
“The situation with Demba has been the same since he arrived at the football club: he has a contract to Newcastle United, he is loved here,” Pardew said.
“He had a brilliant, especially first half, of the season. After the African Nations, it didn’t go perhaps as well for Demba as it could have, and that’s something we will look at because we want him to be at his very, very best.
“But we are planning for him to have another great season with us.”