Soccer-PSG sign Cabaye from Newcastle


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By Julien Pretot and Gregory Blachier

PARIS, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Paris St Germain further strengthened their midfield by swooping for Newcastle United's French international Yohan Cabaye on Wednesday.

Cabaye, who has won 26 caps, has signed for three and a half, the French champions said in a statement.

No fee was disclosed but media reports suggested it could be up to 25 million euros ($34.2 million), including adds-on.

"I'm very proud of bringing back to France such a gifted player like Yohan. I'm very confident we'll become stronger with him," PSG chairman Nasser al Khelaifi told a news conference at the Parc des Princes.

The 28-year-old joined Newcastle from Lille in 2011 and scored 18 goals in 93 appearances for the Premier League club.

The Magpies turned down Arsenal's bid for him last summer but had agreed to let him join a bigger club should an offer be submitted during the winter transfer window.

"I could not leave last summer but when I had this opportunity (to join PSG), they stuck to our agreement," Cabaye told reporters.

"I will never forget the two years and a half I spent there and I really want to thank them."

Cabaye, who was widely regarded as Newcastle's key player, said he was attracted by the possibility of winning trophies with PSG, who are top of Ligue 1, three points ahead of Monaco.

"I'm very, very happy to be here tonight, really proud of getting the chance to take part in PSG's immense project," Cabaye said.

"It's hard to say no to PSG for a player. I want to win trophies and this club gives me the opportunity to do so. I did not hesitate at all."


Cabaye made his France debut in 2010 under Laurent Blanc who now coaches PSG.

He was instrumental in the 3-0 home playoff victory over Ukraine in November that earned Les Bleus a place at this year's World Cup in Brazil.

Cabaye, who will wear the number four shirt, is the latest addition to a strong midfield that features Italy pair Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta and France international Blaise Matuidi.

"I am confident in what I can do, although I know I'm joining a great club, with a very high level in every position," he said.

"The pitch is the place where I will be able to prove that I can be part of this project, of this team. If I can produce good performances and pay them back for the trust they have put in me, doubts will be lifted," Cabaye added.

The French champions had limited choices to strengthen their midfield as they were looking for a player who could play in the Champions League. PSG face Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 next month.

Cabaye could make his debut on Friday, when PSG host Girondins Bordeaux in Ligue 1, or next week when the capital club travel to Nantes in a League Cup semi-final on Tuesday.

"I'm hungry to play, to put on my new colours and feature for PSG. I'm in good form ... I hope I'll be playing on Friday," he said. ($1 = 0.7313 euros) (Editing by Ed Osmond)

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