Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier has ended Newcastle United's hopes of signing him before the transfer deadline by committing his immediate future to the Ligue 1 club.
The 23-year-old became Newcastle's priority signing after Paris Saint Gemain sealed a deal to sign Yohan Cabaye on a three year and a half year deal earlier this week. Newcastle saw an opening bid rejected but manager Alan Pardew insisted on Thursday he was still hopeful of a deal being concluded.
Newcastle were likely to launch another effort for the France international but may have to move their attention to other options after Grenier comprehensively ruled out the possibility of a switch to Tyneside before the window closes.
"I have no intention of leaving this winter," Grenier told a press conference. I still have a lot of goals to aim with OL."
Grenier's agent Frederic Guerra later added that the were a number of reasons behind his client's decision to reject Newcastle, one of which being that he would inevitably be tagged with the label of the 'new Cabaye', a scenario he saw as unfair for his client.
"It is not easy to say no to a big club like Newcastle, but Clement is finally decided to stay in Lyon," Guerra told Le Sport 10. "Today, with the new game system developed by Rémi Garde, Clement is now demonstrating he has a richer palette in his game, he proves this over his matches. With six months to go before the World Cup, a few days from the end of the transfer window was it a good option? It's not safe at all.
"Finally, the conditions of his departure did not create a favourable environment to flourish. Clement would have arrived at Newcastle, not as Clément Grenier, but as replacing Yohan Cabaye.I have the utmost respect for the quality of player Cabaye. However, as an agent of Clement Grenier, I also have to tell myself: is Clément really worth half of Yohan Cabaye? Beyond all the reasons that led us to decline the offer of Newcastle, the conditions of the deal did not seem fair."
Grenier's comments will come as a bitter blow for Newcastle and Pardew with their candidates to replace the influential role once filled by Cabaye rapidly dwindling. The former Southampton manager was keen to see the Lyon star come into his midfield and believes the club have little choice but to fill the void left in their former midfielder's absence.
"He [Grenier] has tremendous creative technical ability and he's a player that Newcastle fans would love to see at the football club," Pardew told a press conference on Thursday.
"But he's still not our player, so until he is... I will wax lyrical about him then."
"There's no option, really, other than to do that, but we will have to see how we go in the next two days."