Newcastle United target Moussa Sissoko has been banned by Toulouse due to an ongoing row over the player’s future.
The midfielder will miss their Coupe de France tie against Paris Saint-Germain as a punishment enforced by club chairman Olivier Sadran.
Newcastle are thought to be leading the race for Sissoko’s signature ahead of several other English Premier League clubs, with a pre-contract agreement reportedly close to being in place for a player whose Toulouse deal expires at the end of this season.
Sissoko is believed to be determined to seal an exit during the January transfer window, but Toulouse are holding out for transfer fee of 2.5 million pounds.
Toulouse coach Alain Casanova has backed his chairman’s decision, although he conceded Sissoko’s absence will be a loss to the side.
“The whole club shows full solidarity to (the) chairman’s decision,” he told L’Equipe.
“It is really a shame a player educated at the club could leave as free agent. His absence is big loss for the team, but that decision is logical.”
Sissoko has been a regular in the Toulouse side in recent seasons, and has made five appearances for France.
Newcastle have already tied up deals for Massadio Haidara of Nancy and Montpellier captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in recent days, and are reportedly set to seal a move for Yoan Gouffran of Bordeaux.