Yohan Cabaye's deteriorating relationship with Newcastle United was last night close to breaking point after the France international refused to play for the club for the second time in five days.
Cabaye missed the Premier League stalemate with West Ham despite being pencilled in to make his first appearance in the wake of a failed £12m bid from Arsenal. The 27-year-old is keen to push through a move to the Emirates, and is also willing to listen to offers from Paris St-Germain, another club who are long-term admirers of his talents.
Newcastle are keen for a resolution to the increasingly uneasy stand-off, and are fully aware that they are running out of time to bring in a suitable alternative, with a little over a week until the transfer window closes. They are holding out for a fee of £20m for a player who cost them £4.5m two years ago.
Alan Pardew, the manager, is keen on Tom Ince, the Blackpool midfielder, though he would not be a like-for-like replacement. But Pardew knows he could still have to work with Cabaye until January if a transfer is not completed by the 2 September deadline.