Cabaye targeting trophies at PSG
Published 29/01/2014 | 17:42
Yohan Cabaye has set his sights on silverware after signing for Paris St-Germain.
The France midfielder has penned a three-and-a-half-year contract at the Parc des Princes, returning to his homeland from Premier League side Newcastle.
And he said at a press conference screened live on his new club's website: "I am very, very happy to return to France.
"The offer from Paris St-Germain was hard to refuse, I want to win titles and PSG offer me that so it is an ideal club. I did not hesitate.
"I am proud to have a chance to be a part of this ambitious project, to have the opportunity to win titles and play in the Champions League.
"The priority for me was the opportunity to win titles, quite simply. That was the biggest thing."
Managed by former France coach Laurent Blanc, PSG - who last season were crowned French champions for the first time since 1994 - are on course to retain their title as they boast a three-point lead over second-placed Monaco, with Lille 10 points back in third.
They are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Bayer Leverkusen, and in the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals.
PSG had a £14million bid for Cabaye rejected by the Magpies on Sunday but the Ligue 1 champions have now secured the services of the 28-year-old.
Neither club have revealed the price final tag for Cabaye - with Newcastle announcing the sale for "an undisclosed fee" on their website - but reports in France on Wednesday suggest PSG have paid in the region of £20million.
Club president Nasser Al Khelaifi said: "I am very happy to give a player with Yohan's talent the chance to return to France."
PSG's recruitment since the investment of Al Khelaifi's Qatari consortium has been cosmopolitan, with Cabaye linking up with the likes of Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani and Brazilian Thiago Silva.
And Al Khelaifi said: "I have said before, PSG will try to bring in French players. That is very important for us but it was not the reason for signing Yohan. The first reason is his talent.
"I hope, and I am very confident, that Yohan will be very strong for us in the league and the Champions League."
Cabaye joined Newcastle from Lille for £4.3million in June 2011 and established himself as a key player with his box-to-box probing and long-range shooting ability.
In his first season he flourished alongside Cheick Tiote and helped Alan Pardew's men finish fifth - the club's first top-10 finish since 2004 - and earn a Europa League place.
Last season Newcastle finished 16th but Cabaye was still a target for Arsenal in the summer and sat out Newcastle's season opener at Manchester City as Pardew decided he was not in the right frame of mind to play.
The Magpies turned down Arsenal's "derisory" bid believed to be in the region of £10million and, after missing further games against West Ham and Morecambe, Cabaye returned to the line-up and apologised to fans for the confusion.
He said at his unveiling in Paris: "It was difficult to accept at first but in the end it was a good decision."
Cabaye thanked Newcastle - for whom he made 79 Premier League appearances, scoring 17 goals - for allowing him to follow his heart to Paris.
"I had two and a half extraordinary years there and discovered the Premier League with them," he said.
"The league is so difficult that we struggled to get into the Champions League. We had a common agreement (that he could leave).
"Last summer it didn't happen but the opportunity came up this time and they respected what my heart wanted. I thank them for that."
A Newcastle statement read: "The club wanted to keep him but the lure of Champions League football and the prospect of being involved in the sporting project at PSG was an opportunity that Yohan made very clear to us he wanted to take.
"Yohan leaves the club with our best wishes for his future at PSG and, hopefully, as part of the French national squad for this summer's World Cup."
That will depend upon whether he can break into a PSG midfield already boasting the talents of international colleague Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti, Lucas Moura and Javier Pastore.
But he said: "I took a risk leaving Lille to join Newcastle before (Euro 2012) and it is the same thing this time.
"I am confident in what I can do but I know I am arriving at a big club, they have good players at each position and the midfield is very good.
"I want to show I am at that level. I will give my maximum, the coach did not give me any guarantees."
His first chance could arrive against Bordeaux on Friday and he said: "I am ready and in form, no problem.
"I am desperate to start in the team and to represent Paris St-Germain. I hope to to be able to play on Friday night."