Moussa Sissoko is edging towards the exit door at Newcastle United – as the club prepares to take its summer spend to almost £45million.
Mohamed Diame and Ciaran Clark are expected to complete their moves to St James’s Park today.
The pair underwent medicals on Tyneside yesterday after Newcastle activated their release clauses at Hull City and Aston Villa respectively.
And they could be signed in time to make the squad for Friday night’s Championship season-opener at Fulham.
Sissoko, however, will not feature at Craven Cottage, even though he reported back to the club on Monday.
The £35million-rated midfielder, given an extended break by United after his involvement at Euro 2016 with finalists France, is a target for Real Madrid.
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, having handed Sissoko the captain’s armband late last season, wanted to persuade him to stay on Tyneside and playing in English football’s second tier.
But a summer departure is now inevitable, though United will stick to their valuation.
Newcastle – who have already sold Georginio Wijnaldum and Papiss Cisse for close to £30million – are yet to receive a bid for Sissoko, also linked with Crystal Palace and Juventus.
Real Madrid are understood to be ready to make a move for the 26-year-old, who has made it clear he wants to leave United this summer in the wake of the club’s relegation.
Meanwhile, midfielder Diame, 29, and 26-year-old defender Clark were both pictured on Tyneside yesterday as they underwent medicals.
Barring last-minute hitches, they will formally join Newcastle today.
The club has already signed six players, and more players could yet follow them through the door.
United, however, must also trim and balance a sizeable squad, and winger Florian Thauvin could rejoin former club Olympique Marseille on loan with a view to a permanent return to the Stade Velodrome.
Midfielder Cheick Tiote, wanted by Abu Dhabi side Al Jazira Club, will also be allowed to leave this summer, while fit-again striker Emmanuel Riviere is surplus to requirements.