Cheick Tiote faces four months in limbo at Newcastle United after failing to secure a move away from the club.
Proposed transfer-window moves to Galatasaray and Olympiacos broke down.
Now we have a squad where every player who is here wants to work together to fight for the club.Rafa Benitez
And an 11th-hour attempt to secure the midfielder a loan switch to Spain also came to nothing.
The 30-year-old, in the final year of his contract at St James’s Park, does not figure in Rafa Benitez’s plans at Newcastle.
Tiote, now in his seventh season at United, became unsettled two years ago amid interest from an unnamed club. A proposed move to Shanghai Shenhua broke down in January.
Tiote will now have to convince Benitez of his commitment if he is to play any part in Newcastle’s Championship campaign between now and the New Year, when the transfer window reopens.
However, the Ivory Coast international could yet move to a country which has an open transfer window.
Meanwhile, United manager Benitez spoke about the importance of players “pushing in the same direction” in the wake of Moussa Sissoko’s £30million deadline day sale to Tottenham Hotspur.
Sissoko’s sale followed the high-profile departures of Georginio Wijnaldum, Andros Townsend and Daryl Janmaat, who also wanted to stay in the Premier League.
“Gini, Moussa and Daryl also wanted to play in the top division,” said Benitez, who has been at the UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum in Switzerland.
“They are talented players, but our objective is very clear, and we needed every single player, like the staff and the fans, pushing in the same direction.
“It can affect the atmosphere and the team spirit if you don’t have that.
“Fans will know that sometimes the team spirit was not strong last season, and that was part of the problem why we got relegated.
“A group of individuals with a lot of talent does not make a good team.
“Our priority has been to build a strong team with good character, mentality and also talent.
“Now we have a squad where every player who is here wants to work together to fight for the club.”