ALAN Pardew admits Yohan Cabaye’s departure will deal Newcastle United a “psychological blow”.
Cabaye was set to undergo a medical with Paris St Germain today after the two clubs last night agreed a fee.
PSG upped their offer after having a £14 million bid for the midfielder rejected by Newcastle.
Reports in France suggest the fee is £19 million, though United were looking for a significantly higher offer for the 28-year-old.
Cabaye, who will be eligible to play in the Champions League for PSG, is expected to be unveiled at the Parc des Princes on Friday.
The France international’s imminent departure comes almost three years after striker Andy Carroll left the club for Liverpool for £35 million.
That experience scarred United manager Pardew, who is focused on preparing his team for tonight’s game against Norwich City at Carrow Road, and Saturday’s Tyne-Wear derby.
And Pardew admits he and his team face a testing few days on and off the field.
Speaking before the fee was agreed, Pardew told SportMail: “I’ve got a thick skin. I survived the Andy Carroll one, which I think is worse because of the situation we were in.
“We certainly didn’t have 36 points. That was one of my best periods at the club ... losing him and getting over the line. The psychological blow was massive.
“Losing Yohan would be a psychological blow, but not as big as that one.”
Cabaye, however, has been an increasingly influential player this season after putting behind him the events of last August, when he attempted to force through a move to Arsenal.
And Newcastle, who are interested in Montpellier’s Remy Cabella and Olympique Lyonnais’ Clement Grenier, must now replace him before Friday night’s transfer deadline.
Pardew said: “From the owner down to my youth-team coach, no one on the technical side wants Yohan to leave. Why would we?
“If you take him out of the team, it makes us vulnerable
“We’d need to bring in someone, for sure. You can’t lose a player of that quality.”
United director of football Joe Kinnear, overseeing the club’s transfer-market efforts, must now find the right player, at the right price to replace Cabaye.
However, that is likely to prove difficult given that prospective sellers know the sort of fee United are receiving from PSG.
And the doomsday scenario on Tyneside would see United fail to secure another midfielder before the Sunderland game.
Grenier last night distanced himself from a move to United, while Montpellier are adamant that Cabella won’t leave the club until the summer.