By Harry Sykes
Newcastle have told Moussa Sissoko he will not be allowed to leave unless he can find a club willing to meet their £20million asking price, according to a report.
The Mirror claim the wantaway attacking midfielder will be ordered to play in the Championship if a serious buyer can not be found.
It is said Newcastle have yet to receive a firm offer for the France international, who has three years remaining on his contract.
Sissoko’s future has been heavily in doubt ever since Newcastle’s relegation, and despite Rafa Benitez committing his future to the club, the Frenchman admits he would welcome a move and has specifically targeted Arsenal.
Unsurprisingly, the 26-year-old has no plans to play in England’s second tier despite being a central player in the team that was relegated from the Premier League.
Sissoko has told Benitez he wants to quit the north-east club and also where he wants to play next season, although he claimed no agreement is in place with Arsenal.
On his future at St James’ Park, the midfielder told French publication Foot Mercato: “Today, if I play in the Championship, I will put my place with the French national team in jeopardy.
“I have already had a discussion with [Rafa Benitez]. My advisors will also have a discussion with him. I think that he knows what I want, and where I want to go. So I hope that there will not be a problem.”
Sissoko joined Newcastle from Toulouse in 2013 and has since made 132 appearances, scoring 12 times. However, he had a disappointing 2015/16 campaign with his only goal in 39 appearances coming against Swansea in April.
Despite that form, the midfielder is currently in France with his national team and is preparing for next Monday’s Euro 2016 quarter-final against Iceland.
“I would like to continue my career in England. Arsenal is one of the best European teams. To be watched by that sort of club, that proves that you are a quality player,” said Sissoko to Foot Mercato.
In other Newcastle news, a star player has been offered a £55,000-a-week contract amid interest from rival clubs.