NEWCASTLE United moved closer to tying up the transfer of Matthieu Debuchy after Lille admitted they will let the player leave.
The Magpies had a £4m bid for the France right-back rejected last week, but remain confident they will land the player this summer.
They are set to return to the French side with an improved bid as they look to fight off interest from Inter Milan for the player.
Lille are believed to want £8m, but United are set to offer around £6m and hope that Debuchy’s desire to join Newcastle will help force through a deal.
Their cause has been helped by the admission by Lille coach Rudi Garcia that they are preparing for the player’s exit.
“Mathieu wants to leave,” Garcia said. “But we had no plans for him to leave.
“He will only leave when I have found someone equally as good to replace him. And that will cost a lot of money.
“Mathieu is one of my key players. He sets an example, a young man who has been brought up well and gives his all for the cause.
“My role is not to put the team in jeopardy. If we find a replacement for him of the same stature, and the right club comes in for Mathieu, then he can leave.”
Inter Milan are considering a swoop for Debuchy as replacement for right-back Maicon, who is understood to be on his way to Real Madrid this summer.
But Debuchy, who starred for France at Euro 2012, is believed to favour a move to Tyneside, where he would link up alongside close friend Yohan Cabaye (pictured below).
Meanwhile, Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa have been granted an extra rest period after their exploits at the Euros.
The United pair won’t have to report back for pre-season training with the rest of their team-mates when they return next week.
The two players were part of the French squad which flopped at the European Championships, winning just one of their four games.
And Magpies assistant manager John Carver has revealed Cabaye and Ben Arfa have been told to put their feet up for a few more weeks before returning to Tyneside.
Carver said “The lads deserve a break after both the seasons they had and the Euros.
“They’ll get that extra time off, and the manager was happy to do that.”
Cabaye was one of France’s plus points of the Euros, starring in centre midfield and scoring in the 2-0 win over Ukraine.
Ben Arfa had a more difficult campaign, falling out with coach Laurent Blanc after being substituted in his only start of the tournament, the defeat against Sweden.
Meanwhile, Carver has also confirmed that the thigh injury sustained by Cabaye at the tournament should not cause him any problems in pre-season.
He added: “Yohan had a good tournament and played well in the games beforehand too.
“He suffered a slight injury.
“But it shouldn’t cause any problem looking ahead to pre-season.”