Cheick Tiote looks likely to stay at Newcastle for the remainder of the season as the closure of the Chinese transfer window approaches.
The Ivory Coast international midfielder was allowed to meet officials from Shanghai Shenhua in Spain last month, but a proposed move eventually broke down.
But with the window in China not due to close until Friday, there has been interest from several other clubs in a player who seemed destined to leave Tyneside.
However, head coach Steve McClaren, who first worked with Tiote during his time at Dutch side FC Twente, has insisted he never wanted to lose the player and has included him in his starting line-up for the last two Premier League games.
The 29-year-old is not the only Magpie attracting interest from the cash-rich Chinese league with striker Papiss Cisse having also been mentioned in dispatches.
But with Aleksandar Mitrovic nursing a knee problem, 30-year-old Senegal international Cisse, who has not figured since December 19 because of a groin problem, could yet have a key role to play in the fight against relegation.
McClaren will hope several of his walking wounded are back in harness for the club’s next game, the league trip to Stoke next Wednesday evening, and skipper Fabricio Coloccini could yet be among them.
The Magpies confirmed on Tuesday that the Argentinian defender had suffered a calf injury during the warm-down after last weekend’s 2-1 friendly victory over Lillestrom, in which he did not play, but also revealed that a scan had shown the damage was not as bad as was first feared.