NEWCASTLE United were today deciding whether to make a final take-it-or-leave-it offer for Mathieu Debuchy.
The club yesterday had a £5m bid for the defender rejected by Lille – and could instead bid for Ajax’s Gregory van der Wiel.
Debuchy – who is also interesting Inter Milan – is desperate to join close friend and France colleague Yohan Cabaye at St James’s Park.
But Lille’s president, Michel Seydoux, frustrated at the protracted negotiations with Newcastle, has claimed the 27-year-old right-back, valued at £6.3m, is no longer for sale.
“I have decided that Mathieu Debuchy will remain at LOSC,” said Seydoux.
“The offer from Newcastle is definitely not at the value of the player.
“For Mathieu Debuchy to leave, it would have taken the offer to be consistent and commensurate with his replacement.
“As the conditions are not met, it is my duty to make a decision.”
Lille have already signed Debuchy’s effective replacement, Djibril Sidibe.
And United aren’t fooled by Seydoux’s words, which appear to be brinkmanship, though the club could yet turn their attention elsewhere, with van der Wiel one option.
Van der Wiel, 24, is out of contract next summer, and his club are willing to sell the Holland international.
However, Debuchy remains Newcastle’s first-choice.
The club also had an interest in Nathaniel Clyne, who left Crystal Palace for Southampton earlier in the summer.
Danny Simpson has been United’s first-choice right-back for the last three seasons, but long-running contract talks with the 25-year-old – whose deal runs out next year – broke down last season.
And Simpson’s days on Tyneside appear be numbered – unless negotiations quickly restart.
Pardew said last season that Simpson would be sold if he didn’t agree a new contract.