Cheick Tiote appears to be on his way out of Newcastle after the club received a bid from Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua.
Relegation-threatened Newcastle have recently bolstered their midfield with the signings of Jonjo Shelvey from Swansea City and Henri Saivet from Bordeaux.
And it is understood manager Steve McClaren is likely to allow the Ivory Coast international to depart, despite the 29-year-old starting in the 3-3 draw with Manchester United.
Shanghai Shenhua – who possess former Newcastle striker Demba Ba, as well as Tim Cahill and Mohamed Sissoko – have made an official bid for Tiote, which is likely to end his five-and-a-half year spell on Tyneside.
Tiote signed from FC Twente in 2010 and swiftly established himself as an integral player at St James’ Park, but has struggled for form and fitness over the last 18 months.
Earlier this season there were claims Tiote was a disruptive influence at the Magpies, which McClaren was forced to deny.
When asked whether the midfielder had played his last game for the club after the six-goal thriller with Manchester United, the former England boss said: “As I said before, when something happens, we’ll announce it and let you know.
“But I do think he has been very, very good in the last two or three games for us.”